Hey everybody. Now, I'm sure all of you know about Todd McFarlane, an artist who drew the first appearance of Venom, and eventually made his own creation, Spawn. In between that time he created Image comics, mostly because him and a bunch of other artists at Marvel got sick of the way Marvel was taking their original characters, merchandising the hell out of them, and still only paying the artists the standard rate. So he formed his own company, somewhat like Dark Horse, where creators would still own their characters and always have completely control of them. Comics running through Image include classics like Witchblade and new stuff like Invincible.
Today, however, we cover something else entirely. You see, after his success with Spawn, McFarlane hasn't really done something all that original, he's only made cliche darkedy darkness. What we have today is a prime example.
Comic Review: Haunt #1
Now, to be fair, McFarlane's only co-creator of this, so we can't blame everything on him.
Our comic begins with our main character, Daniel, leaving the room of his favorite prostitute. Once he gets outside, we get a good look at his collar, and see he's a priest. Ooh boy. At the door of the church, someone reminds him that he's late, again, before going into the confessional.
See, I mean, how is that a priest? At all? I guess that's what makes a priest in GrittyWorld©. Anyway, Daniel opens by asking how many men Kurt's killed this time. "Not many." he says. We then get a flashback full of ultraviolence.
Turns out Kurt's slaughtering everything that moves because he has to rescue some scientist. The scientist claims he won't leave without his test subject. Kurt asks if the body is big, because they can't be slowed down.
After this startling revelation, Kurt does what we all expect from him now and shoots the scientist in the head, making all of that pointless. He shepherds out the test subjects as some mysterious person takes the bag from the scientists cadaver. Then this page happens.
I just cannot take this thing seriously now. It's just too cheesy. I mean, really? All I can imagine is him screaming all Rambo-like while firing over and over again. Anyway, back at the church, we find out Kurt and Daniel are brothers, and ol' Dan only gives Kurt confessions so nobody else will have to, but on the outside, they hate each other. Kurt walks outside only to be drugged and kidnapped.
We next come to his interrogation, with a big guy asking where the scientist's notebook is. Kurt remains obstinate that he has no idea what the guy's talking about, so the interrogator goes to his superior.
The next scene is, predictably, Kurt's funeral. Daniel doesn't seem to care all that much, especially since he seems to be hallucinating that Kurt is talking to him or something, and acknowledges that it’s most likely some imagining of his.
Kurt keeps telling him to visit Amanda, Kurt’s wife, now widow. Dan is reluctant, but gives in. He goes to her apartment, and what follows is somewhat akin to a typical date for me.
When Dan rises to leave, Amanda asks him to stay, so he does. That night, Daniel is awakened by his hallucination of his brother, and two men with guns walk in. They point their guns at Dan, and then... this happens.
Now, looking like Venom after getting into a fight with a blender at the wite-out factory, he kills the two guys, and makes a sanity check.
So yeah, that's Haunt. And how was it? Well, not very good. They made it dark and gritty for the sake of being dark and gritty. I got tired of how hardcore it was a few pages through, but it kept going. And honestly, he just seems like a Venom ripoff to me, only with a bit of hallucination thrown in. I haven't read any other part of the series, so I can't tell you how that is, but issue number 1 did not leave a good first impression. That was Haunt, and this is the W Defender!