HALLOWEEN MAN #22/ Script by DREW EDWARDS/ Pencils & Layout by JASON WILSON/ Finishes and Inks by ANDREA MONTANO/ Colors by APRIL GUADIANA & JASON WILSON/ Letters by APRIL GUADIANA/ Cover Art by JTA/ Published by SUGAR SKULL MEDIA
Intriguing words, aren’t they? If you don’t agree, you might as well stop reading right now, because that concept lies at the heart of Halloween Man #22.
Okay, yes, this is the second part of a Valentine’s Day storyline that was delayed for the better part of 2020 thanks to the current craziness in the world. And yes, the issue is largely focused on the romantic life of the two main characters. But if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t quirk an eyebrow at the mention of vampire dinosaurs then this wonderful little book may not be your cup of tea, romance or no.
The action of this issue finds semi-dead superhero Solomon Hitch (aka the ever-lovin’ Halloween Man) and his super-scientist main squeeze Lucy Chaplin in a localized “savage world” full of dinosaurs that Lucy’s family has safeguarded for several decades. It seems that vampires have invaded and are converting the local fauna. What’s worse, they’ve abducted the protector of the local natives, for what are undoubtedly nefarious purposes…
Drew Edwards is clearly a fan of classic pulp, yet he avoids the usual cliches one encounters in this sort of jungle fantasy. The focus is firmly on the characters, as Solomon and Lucy discuss their ruined Valentine’s Day plans while hunting for vampires. However, the action, once it arrives, does not disappoint.
The artwork by Jason Wilson seems much stronger here than it did in Part One of The Valentine’s Day That Time Forgot. This might be due to the inks and finishes of Andrea Monato, who did not work on the previous issue. Regardless, Wilson has a good eye for action and a gift for illustrating dinosaurs, which is displayed well enough as we see the various creatures living in the jungles of the lost land. I also think Wilson has the single best design for Solomon Hitch of any artist to ever handle the character. The color art by Wilson and April Guadiana is suitably vivid, capturing the life of the setting.
Halloween Man #22 is that rarest of all beasts; a comic book conclusion that stands on its own and doesn’t require you to have read Part 1 to understand it. I wouldn’t recommend this, however, if only because Halloween Man #21 was also an excellent comic and should be read on its own merits. Still, the fact that this book was so easily accessible was welcome after a long wait between issues and is one more reason to recommend Halloween Man to anyone who likes pulp action, romance and vampire dinosaurs.