By: Robert Kirkman (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Jonathan Glapion & Todd McFarlane (inks), FCO Plascencia (colors) & Richard Starkings (letters)
The Story: Daniel, the priestly half of the brothers Kilgore, begins his training as a secret agent.
What’s Good: I’ll take some more art like this, please! When Haunt first started, it was a bit like an all-star team in sports: great on paper (no pun intended), but not great at working together. The art in this issue is the best on Haunt yet as Capullo has settled into the penciler job and it appears that Glapion did most of the inking. From the looks of this, I’d love it if we could just see McFarlane get a “creator” credit from here on out because Glapion’s inks are really awesome. This would be a good comic to hand to a new reader who is confused about what inking is: “See this….this is good inking.”
And, the layouts/pencils are pretty sweet too. In particular we have 3 splash pages that are both nicely done AND visually innovative. Great stuff, although I’d imagine that Haunt is a real pain in the ass to draw with all the ectoplasm squirting all over the place.
As for the story, it seems that Daniel has put his hooker visits behind him and is in training to be an agent at the same agency that employed his brother. He really throws himself into this training and is becoming a real bad-ass… And that’s before he merges with his spectral brother to form Haunt! Speaking of Haunt, we get some further exploration of the limits of the Haunt construct. In the past, we’ve seen that Haunt is a little like putting nitrous on your car: very fast, but if you leave it on for very long, you’ll cook the engine. It’ll be interesting to see if the brother’s are able to increase Haunt’s endurance or if this is a limit they’re just stuck with. Either way, it is a great answer to the question: “Man…why don’t they just walk around with the superpowered suit ALL THE TIME?” (Answer: “Because Haunt is a pain in the neck to draw with all the ectoplasm squirting around.”)
What’s Not So Good: As much as I’m enjoying this series, I have to admit that I’ve kinda lost the narrative thread. I know that there is something going on with this mad scientist’s notebook, that he was doing grotesque experiments on kids and that some villainous organization is trying to further his research, but I always feel like I’m missing some portion of this story. Are they trying to take over a third-world country? Blackmail someone? Seriously, I don’t remember what they’re up to.
I guess what I’m saying is that I’d like to see the bad-guys and their nefarious schemes a little more front-and-center.
Conclusion: This series has gotten light years better since its debut last fall where the nicest thing most reviewers would say about it was “disappointing” and some used words like “self-indulgent”. It’s evolved into a really good read that I encourage you to pick up.
– Dean Stell