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House of Mystery #6 – Review

By Matthew Sturges (Writer), Tony Akins (Prologue Artist), Andrew Depoy (Prologue Inker), Alex Wald (Prologue Colors), Luca Rossi (Artist), Lee Loughridge (Colors)

The Story: This second arc kicks off with more of a whimper than a bang. As with other installments in the series, there are two stories at work here. The first is about pirate (and house resident), Ann Preston’s failed encounter with love on the high seas. The second takes place within the titular house as the residents once again ponder an escape attempt.

What’s Good: Unfortunately, not enough. That said, the series remains one of the more interesting reads thanks to Matthew Sturges’ flair for words and consistently solid artwork by Luca Rossi for the main story. Also worth noting is the ending that inserts a familiar plot device, “the mysterious door”, to good use. It will definitely keep me around as a reader for at least another book or two.

What’s Not So Good: The book instantly gets off on the wrong foot as Ann Preston’s fairly interesting, though ultimately unsatisfying, side story is marred by some ridiculously inconsistent artwork. The facial expressions are an absolute mess. The end result is Ann looking like a totally different person in nearly every panel. At times it appears as though her ship may actually be populated by a number of imperfect Ann Preston clones. The problem is not as apparent for the other characters in the prologue, but seeing as how Ann is the focal point, it proves quite distracting.

Another thing worth mentioning is the overall storytelling which is not very good.  While the author’s words are interesting and fun to read, they really don’t add up to a whole lot. Both the prologue and main storyline suffer from this problem, but in slightly different ways.  The prologue could give a bit more insight into Ann Preston’s character or culminated in her arrival at the house. Instead it just serves as just another short story that has little consequence in the overall scheme of things.  The main story suffers because the plot involving the residents of the house continues to move at a languid pace. Interesting things happen, but

Conclusion: House of Mystery continues to be a frustrating series. Each issue is interesting enough to make the reader want to know what comes next, but it feels like very little is actually happening. It’s a shame to see this series sink after what was quite a promising start.

Grade: C-

- Kyle Posluszny

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