Sunday, April 10, 2022

Comics Review: "NIGHT OF THE GHOUL #5" Makes Underground Sounds

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. (March 2022)

Age Rating: 15+

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

Episode 05

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 #5 opens with the Ghoul's acolytes, the Order of the Fly, in full attack mode.  Forest and Merritt have their backs against the wall, but Forest doesn't really have time to worry about himself.  He can hear the voice of his son calling to him, and Forest is shocked to discover that his son is trapped … underground.

Now, with Cora the nurse as their only allies, Forest and Merritt make a run for it.  Can Forest save Orson?  Can they escape Dr. Skeen and the thing inside him?

Meanwhile, in the past, Alex Powell and his allies try to save his father, Sgt. Kurt Powell of Eagle Company, from the thing inside him.  But here comes the Order of the Fly...

THE LOWDOWN:  In Night of the Ghoul, Francavilla and Snyder have created a masterpiece of atmospheric horror.  Every chapter, but this fifth chapter feels like writer Scott Snyder is padding the series so that it reaches six chapter/issues.

Luckily, every chapter of Night of the Ghoul is a chance to see the beautiful art of Francesco Francavilla and to read his powerful graphical storytelling.  For Episode 5, Francavilla creates a pace that carries the reader rapidly through this chapter.  Every page begins on the razor's wire and ends in a cliffhanger – at least it seems that way.  The underground sequence bleeds creepiness, so much so that I was ready to move past it.

Yes, I have a few quibbles.  Still, I can't wait to read the final chapter.

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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