Friday, February 18, 2022

Comics Review: "NIGHT OF THE GHOUL #3" Welcomes the "Gul"

comiXology/Best Jacket Press

STORY: Scott Snyder
ART: Francesco Francavilla
COLORS: Francesco Francavilla
LETTERS: Andworld Design
EDITOR: Will Dennis
COVER: Francesco Francavilla
24pp, Colors, 3.99 U.S. (December 2021)

Age Rating: 15+

Night of the Ghoul co-created by Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla

Episode 03

Night of the Ghoul is a digital comic book miniseries created by writer Scott Snyder and artist Francesco Francavilla.  It is published by comiXology as part of its “comiXology Originals” line of digital comics.  This six-issue series will later be collected in trade paperback form by Dark Horse Comics.  Night of the Ghoul focuses on the dark conspiracy behind a lost horror film from 1936.

Night of the Ghoul finds film fanatic, Forest Innman, and his son, Orson, at an old folks home deep in the desert.  There, Forest meets one of the home's residents, Charles Patrick, who is really T.F. Merritt, a screenwriter and film director from the Golden Age of Hollywood.  In 1936, Merritt shot a a cursed horror film, “Night of the Ghoul,” that never made it to the silver screen.  A mysterious studio fire destroyed the footage and killed the cast and crew at the wrap-party.  The film became a legend, but no footage was ever recovered … until Forest finds some footage.  And the trouble begins.

As Night of the Ghoul #3 opens, Dr. Skeen, head of the facility, interrupts Forest's interview with Merritt.  Skeen also rebuffs Orson's story about the corpses of children being in the facility.  Father and son depart the facility and during an argument, Orson reveals some surprising news about his mother, Forest's wife.  It all leads to Forest witnessing something shocking.

Meanwhile, inside the film, “Night of the Ghoul,” Alex and Johnny Polaris continue their investigation into the Ghoul.  Alex is the son of Sgt. Kurt Powell of Eagle Company, and Polaris, Powell's friend and fellow veteran of World War I, was also in the Eagle Company.  They believe that Kurt became infected with the Ghoul during a secret mission in Italy during the war.

Alex and Polaris meet Dale Holloway, a professor of Anthropological Studies.  She once researched “Gul” legends, and she actually tried to find the Ghoul.  The result is that she has terrible story to tell.

THE LOWDOWN:  In Night of the Ghoul, Francavilla and Snyder have created a masterpiece of atmospheric horror.  I can never get enough of this visually splendid comic book.

In Episode 3, Snyder ups the ante by revealing more about the precarious state of Forest Innman's marriage and his frayed relationship.  Inside the Night of the Ghoul film, Francavilla presents beautiful graphic design, especially in the “Gul” artifacts.  The artist also creates an appropriately chilly atmosphere for Prof. Holloway's tale.

I will continue to recommend Night of the Ghoul because it is the kind of horror comic book that makes me remember my earliest horror comics experiences.  As I said in my review of issues #1 and #2, this is the kind of comic book that gives me a reason to keep reading comic books.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of Scott Snyder and of Francesco Francavilla will want to try Night of the Ghoul.


Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

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