In a nutshell, Night of the Ghoul is a horror story wrapped up in a noir thriller about one man’s quest to learn the truth about what happened to “the greatest horror movie of the era.” Meeting the long-lost director of the film about the eponymous ghoul, he begins to learn about the horrors of the past, as well as the precarious nature of his present, and the doom of his future. As far as age appropriateness goes, this issue fell in that X-Files/Twilight Zone-kinda area, so use your own discretion.
Being a horror movie fan and it being October and all, this felt like a natural fit for me. Scott Snyder’s tale nails just about everything in this offering, and there’s probably something for every horror fan in here. Monsters, check. Mysterious cabal, check. Intergenerational strife, check. Body horror, check. Snyder weaves all of these elements together in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s merely a pastiche. I’m particularly drawn to how the main story parallels the story-within-the-story.
I’ve long admired the artwork of Francesco Francavilla, so this title was a treat! Francavilla’s pulpy sensibilities play really well with the material, serving up some truly gruesome and disturbing imagery. His use of a rather minimal color palette is effective and atmospheric, whether it’s the sepia-toned black and white for the film portions or the harshly lit retirement home. The lettering by Andworld Design lays the script out quite nicely. The speech bubbles are thoughtfully placed, and the flow feels natural, making reading this issue a breeze.
Overall, this first issue was ghoulishly good, and I can’t wait for the next installment of this series.
Creative Team: Scott Snyder (writer), Francesco Francavilla (artist, colorist), Andworld Design (letterer)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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