Saturday, 10 October 2009

Haunt #1 Review

Haunt #1 by Kirkman / McFarlane / Ottley
As a huge fan of Robert Kirkman, when I found out that he would be working with Todd McFarlane I was obviously hugely interested. My curiosity reached a peak when I saw the first few images of the character, although some have criticised him for being too similar to Spider-Man I think Haunt is a very visually appealing character, and I have been eagerly anticipating this issue for the last few months.
The plot follows the Kilgore brothers, Daniel and Kurt. Daniel is a priest - yet he displays few of the morals and attitudes typically associated with religious men. In contrast to this, despite being a CIA operative, and a mass murderer Kurt seems to be a decent guy. The opening issue deals with the fallout from one of Kurt's missions, as shortly after a confession session with Daniel he is captured and killed....Or is he?
Kirkman does a great job of weaving various mysteries into the story...what exactly happened to Daniel? Who was he captured by? What exactly is the relationship between his widow and Daniel? Obviously these give a great incentive to read on. Some of the pacing is a little iffy however, a lot happens in this issue and some of the events aren't told as clearly as they probably should be. While in some cases this builds mystery for the reader, in others it just doesn't work and makes the plot somewhat confusing.
The art is very different to Ottley's work on Invincible, McFarlane's inks definitely have a massive effect, leading to a dark, sketchy style. I really liked it, particularly when Haunt shows up at the end. The character's design is excellent, and his powers are really interesting and different. The fight scenes are also superbly done, and were the highlights of the issue for me.
Overall, despite a few small niggles this was a solid first issue that did a lot of things right. I will definitely be onboard for #2.

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