Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Haunt #22

Written by Joe Casey
Art by John Lucas and Nathan Fox

I feel like, with all the attention being given to some of Rob Liefeld's Extreme relaunches, that Joe Casey and Nathan Fox's similar revamp of Todd McFarlane's Haunt is not getting the recognition it deserves.

I recently read the first trade of the series, in an attempt to better understand what Casey is going to be doing with the series, and I was a little surprised by how little anyone seemed surprised to learn that the living Kilgore brother could see and speak to the recently deceased one, never mind join with him to receive weird powers.  Maybe that was explained later in Robert Kirkman and McFarlane's writing of the series, maybe it wasn't.  I'm not particularly interested to find out.

Joe Casey, however, has some interesting ideas involving the whole 'speak to dead people' aspect of this series.  In his second issue, he introduced the character Still Harvey Tubman, who could see the dead Kilgore, and seemed to know a great deal about the brothers and what was going on with them.  He helped them escape the Casey-esque religious army/church of the future organization that had abducted them, and when this issue opens, he is on a military flight back to the US with the living brother (I really don't remember their names).

Most of this issue is spent in 'backflash' (as it is called on the title page), and is drawn by John Lucas (despite the fact he doesn't get credited on either side of the cover).  We learn that Tubman is the last of the conductors (clearly the Tubman name wasn't accidental) who goes around leading the spirits of the dead to their heavenly reward.  We watch as he and his assistant look after the ghost of a mobster's sister in the 70s, after which, Harvey has to spend the rest of his days avoiding the mobster's desire for revenge.

It's a very good issue.  Still Harvey is a great character - equal parts The Dude from The Big Lebowski and Stick from Frank Miller's run on Daredevil.  Lucas's art is a nice change from Nathan Fox's usual frenetic explosion of action, although I look forward to him drawing the whole next issue.  Casey has finally laid out some sort of plan for where this book is going, and I think it will be interesting to see how the Kilgore brothers react to Harvey's duty of separating them permanently.

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