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Review Group Week 191 - HAUNT #1

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Postby ****** » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:23 am

I read this last night, but I think I'll give it a re-read before I post a review. The art process is probably the most interesting thing about the book, but like Greg said, it sometimes takes Kirkman a little while to get things going.

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Postby Starlord » Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:46 am

Haunt #1

I don't have this book right in front of me so I'm doing this by memory, and to be honest, it wasn't very memorable. The characters seemed to be cut outs of arch-types and nothing felt new or different at all. In fact I had to go back a couple of times to pick up exactly who was who.

I also agree that it takes Kirkman a bit to get going at times and there was only one thing that I found really offsetting about this book, and it really wasn't his writing. It was the art.

I agree with Old Man that this new character seems like a blantant rip off of McFarland's Venom. And my loathing of Venom nearly rivals that of Wolverine. The rest of the art was okay, nothing to write home about.

In fact that's kind of how what I thought of the entire issue. Okay, but nothing to write home about.

Story: 5
Art: 3
My Score: 4
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Max Blyss wrote:Months and months and months and the whole thing is still just an intersection at Dipshit Lane & Chip on my Shoulder Ave.

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Postby MrBlack » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:23 am

starlord wrote:Haunt #1

I don't have this book right in front of me so I'm doing this by memory, and to be honest, it wasn't very memorable. The characters seemed to be cut outs of arch-types and nothing felt new or different at all. In fact I had to go back a couple of times to pick up exactly who was who.

I also agree that it takes Kirkman a bit to get going at times and there was only one thing that I found really offsetting about this book, and it really wasn't his writing. It was the art.

I agree with Old Man that this new character seems like a blantant rip off of McFarland's Venom. And my loathing of Venom nearly rivals that of Wolverine. The rest of the art was okay, nothing to write home about.

In fact that's kind of how what I thought of the entire issue. Okay, but nothing to write home about.

Story: 5
Art: 3
My Score: 4


That's quite a drop on art from the last issue of Invincible you reviewed with the same artist.

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Postby ****** » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:26 am

MrBlack wrote:That's quite a drop on art from the last issue of Invincible you reviewed with the same artist.


Ottley may have penciled this, but it's not the same as his art in Invincible at all. With McFarlane inking, the final look of this is more him than Ottley. The books have way different color pallets as well.

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Postby MrBlack » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:30 am

amlah6 wrote:Ottley may have penciled this, but it's not the same as his art in Invincible at all. With McFarlane inking, the final look of this is more him than Ottley. The books have way different color pallets as well.

Very true, which is partly why I asked. The art wasn't as good as Ottley's regular stuff on Invincible, and I think McFarlane is the reason for that (which I stated in my review). That said, it's still a big drop.

As I said in the other Haunt thread, I think that some of the hate directed towards this book is because of McFarlane's involvement, and that it's not being judged on its own merits. For the record, I don't think that Starlord is doing that. I was just fishing for a bit more explanation.

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Postby Punchy » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:36 am


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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:41 am

MrBlack wrote:Very true, which is partly why I asked. The art wasn't as good as Ottley's regular stuff on Invincible, and I think McFarlane is the reason for that (which I stated in my review). That said, it's still a big drop.

As I said in the other Haunt thread, I think that some of the hate directed towards this book is because of McFarlane's involvement, and that it's not being judged on its own merits. For the record, I don't think that Starlord is doing that. I was just fishing for a bit more explanation.


What has McFarlane done to earn animosity from the comics reading community? Just curious, I really don't know.

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Postby Punchy » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:47 am

House of J wrote:What has McFarlane done to earn animosity from the comics reading community? Just curious, I really don't know.


His claim for Marvelman for one thing.

Be a successful artist in the 90s for another.

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Postby Starlord » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:47 am

I have nothing against McFarlane, per se. I just never really cared for his Spider-Man when everyone else seemed to be raving about it. I have to say I was shocked that this is the same artist as Invincible because I would have bet my life savings it wasn't.
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Postby MrBlack » Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:49 am

starlord wrote:I have nothing against McFarlane, per se. I just never really cared for his Spider-Man when everyone else seemed to be raving about it. I have to say I was shocked that this is the same artist as Invincible because I would have bet my life savings it wasn't.

Fair enough.

I didn't mean to impugn anyone's reviews, yours in particular, but I just worry that this won't get a fair shake because of McFarlane's involvement.

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Postby Starlord » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:05 am

MrBlack wrote:Fair enough.

I didn't mean to impugn anyone's reviews, yours in particular, but I just worry that this won't get a fair shake because of McFarlane's involvement.


Oh no, like I said, I have nothing agains McFarlane at all. Some of his stuff is enjoyable. I mean, it's not like he's a Mark Millar or Bendis.



Love ya Punch! :P :wink:
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Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:20 am

I never manage to read the books you guys review the same week as you review them, but it just so happens I have read this (because Image gave me a copy), so I have some comments:

Overall, I liked this more than I thought I would. When I looked at the cover a billion times while posting press releases, all I could think was "Why can't McFarlane design a character that doesn't look like Venom?" I mean, let's be honest, Spawn looks like Venom. Haunt looks like Spawn. Maybe it's the love he seems to have for black and white costumes, I don't know. In any case, the cover didn't interest me in the book, but Kirkman's involvement did.

I see a lot of comments in this thread about how Kirkman takes a while to get going, but I think Kirkman's writing here is an exemplary use of the comic book medium. A few times in this book (for instance when I got to the page when the brothers are talking in the limo at the funeral), I had to stop and say "did I miss something?" But then I realized that I'm just not used to writers utilizing the comic book medium to its full potential.

In too many books, writers try too hard to write the comic like a movie, where we see every scene spelled out for us, but in a comic, we are able to see snapshots of the action and fill in the blanks between panels and pages with our minds. Kirkman forces the reader to do this with his writing here, and by doing so, forces the readers to exercise comic book reading muscles that have sadly atrophied in recent years due to the comic industry's cinematic identity crisis. This is a good thing.

The first issue fed us enough of a story to feel satisfied, and yet of course ended on a cliffhanger that demands we pick up the next issue. You can't ask much more than that of the writing. As for the art, I agree that the color palette makes Ottley's art look way different than it does on Invincible. Still, Ottley is competent is always, a master of his craft like a Ron Lim who can draw in several styles and produce quality work on every project without making it "all about him" with an outrageous style.

So now I score it I guess? Story - 8 Art - 7 Overall - 7.5? A surprisingly strong start with lots of potential on a book that could be a big deal for Image. Can't ask for anything more.
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Postby Punchy » Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:15 am

starlord wrote:Oh no, like I said, I have nothing agains McFarlane at all. Some of his stuff is enjoyable. I mean, it's not like he's a Mark Millar or Bendis.



Love ya Punch! :P :wink:


I don't class McFarlane as a writer, his writing is shocking. But his art is great. I didn't really think about him that much when I read this, beyond the significance of it being him, his own pros and cons as a creator aren't especially germane to the book, for me, this is a Kirkman joint mostly.

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Postby prozacman » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:01 pm

Haunt is a book I would have loved 10 years ago. I'm not sure if I'm still the audience for this type of comic book. Do to the fact that McFarlane hasn't done much him self in the world of comics in the last 10 years, I doubt that this book will get in the hands of people young enough to love the book.

It was immediately disappointing to find out that Todd McFarlane wasn't doing more of the art. I haven't been fallowing most of the press on this book since the first announcement, so I was admittedly out of the loop. That being said, this was a book that was being billed as McFalane's big come back to comics. This is like getting tickets to a play starring your favorite actor, but when the curtain rises the understudy has taken his place. I've been a fan of GREG CAPULLO since his X-Force days, but I paid money to see Todd.

Now that I got my fanboy bitching out of the way, I'll try to review the book as if I had never heard of the creators.

To paraphrase one of my favorite movie quotes, Haunt is a book about people that are Bastards but not Fucking Bastards. The Kilgore brothers know they are bad guys but there are lines that even they won't cross. The type of people you don't want in your day to day life, but if there is a war you would gladly have them on your side. It's a book about bad people vs evil people. Lots of graphic violence and sexuality. All the things that I loved as a teenager and young adult.

Now that I'm getting older, a story needs to surprise me. Graphically violent action in and of it self is no longer a selling point for me. Violence can still be entertaining but if I see it coming it doesn't shock or excite me any more. In Haunt you can predict the story almost from the fist panel of each scene. It's not bad, just predictable. Maybe ROBERT KIRKMAN will have some big twist in the next couple of issues. Though in this economy, a lot of us can't afford to stick with a book until it finds it's footing. If you're putting out a book with new characters just being good is not good enough. The first issue better WOW us.

Haunt is a book that will probably be more entertaining to young adult readers. Be that as it may, the selling point of the book is that it is a Todd McFarlane creation. I'm not sure if his name means any thing to comic readers in their late teens and early 20s. For us older readers, Todd McFarlane ushered in an age of dynamic new style for comics. But that was due to his art more than any thing else. We would love to see him draw again. He doesn't need to usher in a new age again. Todd just has to put in a good effort and my generation will be in extacy. From there the new generation will want to see what the buzz is about. Without Todd McFarlane doing the art like he use to, Image Comics would probably be better off not even trying to sell it as a McFarlane book.

ART 8
STORY 7
OVER ALL 7.5

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Postby thefourthman » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:18 pm

I read this last night and need to reread it before I even considering reviewing it. That being said I didn't hate it, at all.

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