REVIEW: Haunted City #1

Suffer the Little Children

Writer: Chap Taylor & Peter Johnson
Illustrator: Michael Ryan
Colorists: Kelsey Shannon & Beth Sotelo
Letterer: Josh Reed
Editors: Frank Mastromauro & Vince Hernandez
Publisher: Aspen MLT

Detective Tom Whalen had a bullet ricochet off of his skull and now is on the run from Internal Affairs, Korean gangsters, and a ghost; not to mention being told fairy tales and folk lore creatures are real – definitely not your typical day.

Last issue Detective Tom Whalen tried to back out of drug deal with some Korean gangsters and was forced to fight for his life to escape.  During his escape he was shot in the head and as a reader I was wondering if we were going to learn the tales of the Haunted City through a ghost’s perspective. While I do hate giving out spoilers in my reviews I think it is apparent that Whalen was not killed, and the explanation is a one in a million means of surviving, I don’t think it’s something a comic book reader will spend too much time on wondering about.  Sure, it happened and it made for some interesting storytelling between the zero issue and this issue.

The idea of a bad cop isn’t a new concept by any means.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t any new stories to tell using that concept, and I think writers Chap Taylor and Peter Johnson have created an interesting story to put their bad cop in and then shake him up a bit.  As a fan of folklore and fairy tales of all sorts, the idea that New York is not only a melting pot of people and cultures, but their hopes, dreams, and even nightmares has all of the pieces to make for a great series.  I think it’s too early to say how good this book can be, but as I said before, the pieces are there it’s just how Taylor and Johnson use those pieces.

The art in this issue is probably some of the best I have seen from Michael Ryan. I have been a fan of Ryan’s for a long time and any chance I get to see his work I will jump at the chance to get it and this issue really does not disappoint. There is a tone that Ryan is able to put in to this book that I really wasn’t sure if he could do, and that’s the brooding and mysterious tone that you see with the ghosts we’ve seen so far.  While I know they are drawn by Ryan, I think the colors by Kelsey Shannon with assists from Beth Sotelo really make them pop off the page and add that extra eeriness.  Once again, an Aspen book provides top notch art from the pencils to the colors to the lettering.

If you’re looking for a new series to check out Haunted City is a great series that provides action, mystery, and the supernatural readers can really dive in to.

Writing: 4 out of 5 | Art: 5 out of 5 | Overall: 4.5 out of 5

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