By: Robert Kirkman (writer), Greg Capullo (pencils), Jonathan Glapion & Todd McFarlane (inks), FCO Plascencia (colors), Comicraft (letters) & Jen Cassidy (editor)

The Story: The stakes are changing.  As Daniel struggles without his connection with Kurt and the Haunt “suit”, Kurt deals with some spectral bad dude.

What’s Good: Greg Capullo is really good.  That shouldn’t be news to anyone because he has been around for a long time, but he really had the whole package.  It all starts with the storytelling. That is the most important thing and something that more than a few artists skip over, but you always know what is going on in a Greg Capullo panel.  Storytelling and basic layouts are the “learning to walk” for a comic artist.  But, once that is nailed down, you can show off and that is where Capullo really shines in four distinct areas.

One, his linework is wonderfully detailed, but he doesn’t fall into the trap of just screwing around with a background just because he wants to add detail.  All of his detail has purpose and there is always a reason to go back and let your eyes linger on a Capullo panel.  Two, his characters are vital.  Everyone looks like a living, breathing person that is leaping and lunging.  That is SOOOOO important in an action-packed title like Haunt.  Three, his panel designs are interesting.  He never has a boring page without something unique.  And four, he does enough shading with his linework (and that of the inker) that the colorist can do almost flat colors without the comic looking like it was ripped from 1978. [And five….yes I’m adding a five…He draws a really pretty woman.]

Really….you’re doing yourself a disservice if you just plow through Haunt in 15-20 minutes and don’t come back to it.  The art is just that good.

Storywise, this issue keeps things moving and introducing new stuff.  Since Daniel, Kurt and Haunt are all new characters, we really don’t know what the rules are yet and that makes the story a lot of fun.  Nowhere is that more clear than when the big red spectre shows up and keeps trying to nab Kurt.  Is it the devil (or something like the devil)?  Is he kinda like those creatures in the movie Ghost what tried to drag the spirits of bad people to the underworld?  One of the big themes as the brothers duel with this guy is that Kurt has no clue what to do against this enemy. His military training is worthless.  Perhaps Daniel’s priestly background will come into play?

What’s Not So Good: While I really do enjoy this series and it is one of the first things off the “stack”, I am realizing that I’m not that invested in the overall story.  It isn’t a “bad” story by any stretch, but I think the story exists just to give Capullo a chance to illustrate some really awesome scenes.  This is a case where the art is kinda overshining the story.

Related to being uninvested in the overall story, every time these characters “return to base”, I find that I don’t remember who these secondary characters are and why they matter.  I think the point is that they don’t really matter. When I don’t remember the name/purpose of one character it is annoying.  When I don’t remember the names of multiple characters it is a problem.

Conclusion: Another stellar art performance by Capullo.  The story isn’t pretty good too and it is fun to learn more about the rules of this universe, but the art is the major attraction here.

Grade: B+

-Dean Stell

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