The year is 1895, and Boston is inhabited by ghosts (or Protoplasmic Trans-Dimensional Phase Shifters as Tesla calls them). Samuel Hunter, with the help of a spirit medium named Caitlin O’Sullivan and armed with the inventions of Granville Woods, is able to track down, draw out, and destroy these beings, for a price.
In the background is B.E.T.H.: Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Harry Houdini. These historic figures are sort of a supernatural think tank looking to recruit Hunter and O’Sullivan to further their own gains. These characters are brilliantly written, with Tesla and Edison’s competitive relationship a highlight. While it’s nothing new to see these two at one another’s throats, it’s refreshing to see them working towards the same goal even if they bicker like an old married couple.
Boston Metaphysical Society feels like Ghostbusters meets Sherlock Holmes with a dash of Lovecraft thrown in for good measure. Hunter as the old, broken soldier and O’Sullivan as the wide-eyed youth are a fun pairing in the classic partnership of two people with dramatically different perspectives on life and their profession. O’Sullivan has been an incredibly polite character so far, if headstrong. I look forward to her building up confidence around Hunter and eventually being able to tell him he’s wrong when he desperately needs someone to say it.
Boston Metaphysical Society‘s art looks great and does a great job of staying true to its setting. All the trappings of the late 19th century are present without seeming cliché or overly western. I especially love the detail added to the character’s clothing. The older style suits and dresses look amazing and add a flair that makes the characters stand out from any modern counterparts. My one complaint is that the steampunk elements of the world are not made readily apparent in this first chapter. Outside of the Boston Metaphysical Society and B.E.T.H., the only advanced thing I noticed was an airship in the background in a couple of panels; it was only by reading additional information on the website that I came to realize this is supposed to be an element of the setting as a whole, not just something our heroes have access to.
The Boston Metaphysical Society website can be found here. The first issue is available for free on the website, along with links to the novelette “The Secret” and the short story “The Devil Within,” which are prologues to Boston Metaphysical Society set within the same universe.