Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Comics Review: "NIGHT OF THE GHOUL #4"

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. (January 2022)

Age Rating: 15+

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

Episode 04

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.

Night of the Ghoul #4 opens in the past – in the film, Night of the Ghoul.  Alex Powell, the son of Sgt. Kurt Powell of Eagle Company, continues his quest to free his father of the curse of the Ghoul.  Helping him is his “uncle,” Johnny Polaris, who was in Eagle Company during World War I with Kurt.

Johnny has summoned the rest of Eagle Company, and they have sought the help of Dale Holloway, a professor of Anthropological Studies.  An expert on the “Gul,” the wheel-chair bound Prof. Holloway has a “tincture” that will drive the Ghoul from Kurt.  But what will driving the creature out look like?

Meanwhile, in the present, Forest has returned to rescue Merritt from the clutches of Dr. Skeen, whom the old man claims has the Ghoul inside his body.  Meanwhile, Forest's wife, Gina, is desperately trying to reach him.  Their son, Orson, who accompanied his father on this hellish trip, is in trouble … underground.

THE LOWDOWN:  In Night of the Ghoul, Francavilla and Snyder have created a masterpiece of atmospheric horror.  Truthfully, it never stops being a masterpiece; I keep waiting for it it have a bad chapter or even a momentary lapse in quality, and it does not.

Episode 4 has me convinced that Night of the Ghoul is the the best work that Snyder and Francavilla have produced both as a team and as individuals.  It is certainly Francavilla's best graphical storytelling.  The color sections of issue four are scary, but the black and white or sepia segments (inside the Night of the Ghoul film) are an embarrassment of riches in terms of atmospherics.  I feel as if I am in the grip of fear in every beautiful panel in the story of Alex Powell and Johnny Polaris.

I can't wait to read more.

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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