HALLOWEEN MAN #21 [Advance Review]

HALLOWEEN MAN #21/ Script by DREW EDWARDS/ Pencils, Inks & Colors by JASON WILSON/ Colors, Lettering & Layouts by APRIL GUADIANA/ Cover Art by JTA/ Published by SUGAR SKULL MEDIA

Solomon Hitch has become used to having his date nights ruined by random jackassery. It’s par for the course when you’re an undead superhero who tackles all the dirty jobs that most of the capes-and-tights set see as being beneath them or too weird to cope with.

It doesn’t help matters that his girlfriend, Lucy Chaplin, is the world’s greatest super-scientist and scion to a legacy of legendary great adventurers, complete with her own rogues’ gallery of enemies. Still, having a night out enjoying a Valentine’s Day concert performed by a holographic Elvis broken up by a caveman riding a pterosaur is a new one, even for Solomon and Lucy.

The caveman turns out to be an escapee from the Chaplin family’s greatest secret; an honest to goodness Lost World, filled to the brim with primal tribes, man-eating plants and prehistoric animals. A land that is now threatened by the same vampire menace that turned Solomon Hitch from an ordinary pulp fiction writer into the ever-lovin’ yellow-eyed Halloween Man! This leads to an entirely different day out, with the power couple going to investigate what the vampires want with a land that time forgot.

For those who like their romance comics nontraditional, Halloween Man #21 will prove a welcome treat this holiday season. No previous experience with Halloween Man is needed to enjoy this issue, which neatly sets up the concept with no fuss or muss. Drew Edwards delivers another script full of his trademark humor and adventure.

The artwork by Jason Wilson and April Guadiana is largely excellent but not without flaw. Wilson proves to be an amazing artist when it comes to drawing dinosaurs and prehistoric beasts but his human characters look less polished. The inks seem overly heavy in the scenes involving the vampiric villains and his design for Lucy Chaplin could be better. That said, I think Wilson’s take on Solomon Hitch is perhaps the most visually striking in the series’ history.

All in all, this is another fine issue of Halloween Man which showcases why the series has been an independent darling for two decades. Fans of classic pulp and the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs would do well to check this issue out, as one would anyone looking for a tale of weird romance this Valentine’s Day.

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