Old Haunts #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on August 13, 2020

Writers: Rob Williams & Ollie Masters
Artist: Laurence Campbell
Colours: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Sal Cipriano

This issue focuses on Alex and his violent history, and we can see how the violence of his past haunts him over the years. The Old Haunts from the title seem to be as much about the characters history as it does the mysterious supernatural goings on surrounding our lead characters. There’s a tragic tale here about upbringing and violence leading in a vicious cycle. While those particular themes have been explored in plenty of other mediums in the past, thanks to the supernatural goings on and incredible stylised art from Campbell and Loughridge it gives this story a unique spin and makes for gripping reading.

Rob Williams & Ollie Masters script for the story is subtle. As much of the story is told via the art, or by reading between the lines. They really embrace the show don’t tell part of storytelling which makes for the best stories. Effective use of flashbacks and parallels between the past and the present make it an exciting comic. While none of the main characters are necessarily likeable this issue makes the reader a lot more sympathetic towards Alex, there’s an element of “what choice did he have?” about his past.

And then we have the currently unfolding story with Myrick and the deal, along with Lopez and her vendetta against the three of them. Unlike some comics it’s not clear how all of these different storylines are going to intersect, all that the reader knows it’s there is going to be a bloody and violent reckoning at some point between all of these different groups, all of whom have very differing motivations and goals.

Laurence Campbell’s art continues to be outstanding. His heavy inks give this stylised comic its noir feel and unique identity. With the issues focus on Alex we get to see him across the decades, Campbell does a great sequence where we see Alex across the years and watch him grow old, it’s incredibly well done. That’s followed up with a double page spread which tells his story over twenty panels. It’s a tragic tale of violence begetting violence and it’s Campbells art that really tells this tale. The cinematic style from earlier issues, really helped by the wide panels, is continued here and works really well.

Lee Loughridge is such a natural and inspired fit for Campbells art. The flashback pages have the minimum of colour to them, only a subtle tint of blue to them, until the violence comes and then we see the bright red blood, bringing the violence to the forefront of the story. It’s well done and helps the art tell as much of the story as the words do, if not more. Such an atmospheric and stylised comic. Then there’s the phenomenal colours of the city contrasting nicely with Campbells heavy inks, such a great combination. There’s one scene in the comic in a darkened house at night, and due in part to Campbells inking, thanks to Loughridge’s colours it actually feels like a darkened house at night.

A well written script makes for compulsive reading, Williams and Masters understand the value of show not tell. This series has some of the most stylised art and colours in a comic, period, making this a comic that readers can get lost in, losing time appreciating the phenomenal pairing of Campbell and Masters. All the disparate threads promise to come together for a reckoning, but the reader is still in the dark about how that’ll occur.

Our Score:


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