Haunted – Volume 01 Issue 01

Haunted – Volume 01 Issue 01

Comics

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My Rating


























Rating: 4 out of 5.


“The Room Of Madness!”

The rug had survived the centuries, passed from one hand to another, all in an epic journey of evil. When business mogul Aldous Benton learned about the Tabriz Rose from his Manhattan art dealer, no price would be too high. Just thinking about the history of that Persian rug made his adrenaline rush. Who wouldn’t want to own a relic once stood upon by leaders such as Adolf Hitler?

“Revenge Of The Slave Ghost”

They had called him mad! All of them. Every single colleague of Professor Calvin C. Hewlitt had ridiculed his theories on capturing ghosts, even after he had proven them. Well, on paper anyway.

Now the former professor, and ex-board member of the University of CalTech, has arrived in front of an old abandoned mansion once owned by civil war veteran, Andrew Landry. They said this house had a history of murder and suspicious deaths. The local legends also tell that the house was literally infested with ghosts. What a perfect place to try out Professor Hewlitt’s new device designed to capture and enslave malignant spirits. The only question now is who is hunting who?

“Transmutation Trouble”

Frank Clifford centered his rifle on the animal not even three-hundred yards away. It was nighttime, so that amplified the difficulty of his shot ten-fold. No matter, the commissioner was lucky to hire a man such as Frank. That is, Frank Clifford was the world’s most renowned hunter, and the target was something extraordinary.

Earlier that evening, both men discussed the situation over dinner at Commissioner Campbell’s estate house. An animal had been seen roaming the grounds ever since the Commissioner’s daughter disappeared at night. Frank had mentioned the topic of witchcraft and the very little known subject of transmutation. Could an animal transform into an animal and vice versa? The world’s best hunter seemed to think so.

That’s when Frank retrieved a box from his satchel. The Commissioner’s eyes squinted in disbelief when the hunter opened the lid to display what was stored inside.

“You can’t be serious?” the man said while dropping his fork.

“Yes,” Frank replied. “Unfortunately, it’s the only way to break the witch’s curse.”

Frank Clifford then placed one of the silver bullets down on the table in front of him. The longer John Campbell waited to make a decision, the more difficult the hunting would become. Time waits for no man or beast.

 “It’s About Tyme”

Extrasensory perception, or ESP, is a controversial subject for most who have heard of the term; however, for Mr. Tyme, the young computer engineer who worked on the 9th floor, his understanding of the gift far succeeded those who gained mastery of such power. It was Mr. Tyme who had first developed the electronics that would revolutionize the field of paranormal recording devices. Tyme’s dream was to bring his company to the forefront of supernatural research. But, would he stand alone?

Someone has just murdered his assistant, Miss Mason, and fled to the floors below with company secrets! Can Mr. Tyme’s new ESP sensor device help identify the true killer? Or, will he be charged with first degree murder?

Reviewer Notes

What a refreshing introduction to Charlton Comics 1971 horror series ‘Haunted’. Writer Joe Gill and artist Steve Ditko steer readers out of the musty cellar of Gothic-themed nightmares that should have faded away along with the Victorian age and bring modern science and technology into the fold. I mean, come on, how many stories about Dracula and lofty Gothic mansions do readers need anyway?

I’m not a huge fan of the anthology-style horror books that dominated the genre throughout the Silver and Bronze Age of comics. I generally find the disjointed story lines, along with the throwaway characters, uninteresting at best. However, in some instances, publishers can release stories that leave readers asking themselves why a character or setting never continues past their initial introduction. In my opinion, this is what we have here in issue one of Charlton Comics Haunted.

Joe Gill and Steve Ditko give us at least two characters here that I would have loved to see further explored. The hunter Frank Clifford could have been fleshed out into a full monster hunting series at the very least. Mr. Tyme and his ESP abilities surely would have made an impact on X-men and the Shadow fans, especially with Ditko doing the art on the series. I guess we will never know for sure, but I do recommend this book for anyone who loves what these two did for the industry.

 I give issue one of Haunted four out of five stars. ESP, ghosts, and werewolves were some of my favorite topics as a kid, so I may be biased here. But think about this. When you put the chocolate in the peanut butter, don’t good things always come out?



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