After being on the boot end of a few ass kickings, the good guys finally get a little Payback on Mr. Hurg and his cohorts.
Haunt has been a thrilling ride thus far and this issue brings this initial arc to a triumphant close. We've seen Daniel Kilgore go from a wayward priest quarreling with his estranged brother, Kurt, to stepping into his combat boots as an agent for the organization that his presently deceased, but presently present, brother worked for. The Way Kirkman shows Daniel's transition from civilian in over his head to confident special ops agent is superb. In this issue you get see what Daniel can do when he properly combines his and Kurt's skills with their supernatural powers.
This story really kicks off with a bang. Our story opens up with Mirage confronting Amanda. Let's just say kicking in somebody's door putting a gun to their head and saying "I was sleeping with your husband" isn't the best way to start a heart to heart. moving from that point we get to see the Agency and Haunt kick some serious ass against Hurg and his super soldiers. Capullo's pencils are always satisfyingly visceral during battle scenes and he really, really shines here. Anybody who knows his work knows he's not one to pull any punches on the blood and gore. This issue is no exception to that rule. His work here and throughout the series has more than rivaled his best work on Spawn. He has the ability to render convincingly chaotic battles without losing the reader. The way he organizes his chaos gives the action a natural fluidity that effortlessly connects his panels.
I like that Daniel not only uses his powers during this battle but he shows of his hand to hand and weapons skills he's gained from his training. This issue's not all about severed limbs and headshots though. There area a lot of heartfelt and humorous moments. Satisfying as the battle scene is this issue focuses more on the fallout of it and that was a great decision on Kirkman's part. After the battle we get a sweet moment between Beth and the Brothers Kilgore and some bonding between Daniel and Scott, the resident geek at the agency. We also get to see the end result of Mirage and Amanda's confrontation. It was interesting to see into Amanda's psyche and her guilt about her relationship with Kurt and how it affected his and Daniel's relationship.
The issue ends on a high note with a beautiful moment between Daniel and Kurt. We get to see the brothers address their past issues and see Daniel's aforementioned growth when he forgives Kurt for his past wrongs. With this issue Kirkman puts on a "how to write a comic" clinic. He organically ties up all the plot threads in this arc, providing each with a satisfying conclusion while simultaneously raising new questions and building anticipation for future stories.
The fact that this book is not nearly as popular as it quality dictates that it should be.
I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that this is the best single issue of any comic I've read this year. This series and this issue really is that damn good. Haunt is the best series nobody's reading, or at least talking about. That being said, it's one of my favorite series on the stands right now and a testament to the genius of Robert Kirkman. With Haunt Kirkman's successfully and effortlessly combined supernatural elements and spy fiction. If you're not reading this then it would behoove you greatly to kick out the 10 bucks for the first trade which collects issues 1-5. For those of you like myself who are becoming jaded by the Cape & Cowl tales over at the Big Two this series is a breath of fresh air.