Home Sick Pilots #3 Review

by Nick Devonald on February 11, 2021

Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Letters: Aditya Bidikar

Home Sick Pilots continues to surprise us with its unique take on the classic haunted house story. This issue delves a little more into Buzz’s character and events affecting him after Ami’s disappearance. Not only is he the only person who seems to be worried about her, but he’s also the only person who’s got even the faintest idea that there’s something deeply strange and unsettling about the Old James House, and that it’s infested with supernatural goings on.

Home Sick Pilots is a really difficult series to describe. The initial solicitation of Power Rangers meets The Shining still feels relevant, but it feels like that’s only just beginning to scratch the surface of this haunted house meets 90s Punk tale. And it’s apparent that the reader has likewise only just begun to get a glimpse of the true story here. Initially it appeared that the series was going to revolve around this haunted house and the kindred spirit it’s found in Ami, but this issue begins to hint that there might be so much more going on than we first thought.

One of the real strengths of the story is the focus on its lead characters. While issue turns the spot light onto Buzz, as he investigates the house we learn as much about the house as we do Buzz and Ami. Dan Watters understands that a good story doesn't necessarily need to take the reader by the hand. By treating the audience as adults and making the story intriguing and fun in its own right means we don't need to spend a lot of time on worldbuilding. Little clues will fill us in as we go along. One of the real strengths of having a cast of interesting characters thrown into a mysterious situation it doesn’t matter that the reader doesn’t necessarily have the first clue what is going on in the story, it’s entertaining enough in its own right and pulls the reader along with the story.

There is a real cliff-hanger ending to this issue which not only holds plenty of surprises and suspense it also gives us the first real clue to where the series is going. It also makes the wait for the next issue excruciating. Above all this series is an entertaining read with so much potential to it. A rich backstory begging to be uncovered. A unique take on the Haunted house series with an exciting mythology dying to be explored. Interesting characters and settings. All of it combine to make this one of the more exciting comics this year.

The art from Caspar Wijngaard has been absolutely stunning. His creativity has shone through with some of the creatures he’s designed, and this issue is no different. We get to really see some of the very unique haunted items and his imaginative take on them, and this issue hints that we’re barely scratching the surface of what’s out there. Colours are used to great effect in the series as well, an extra indication of the characters emotions and a storytelling device in their own right. But Wijngaards talents don’t end with the colours or his stunning designs, even the quieter scenes where characters are talking the detail and style he brings makes this one of the best looking comics out there.

This comic is absolutely bursting with potential, such a clever and different spin on the haunted house story, and three issues in it feels like the story hasn’t even begun in earnest yet. Interesting characters, unique concept, gorgeous art, there’s so much here to recommend. Jump on this series now while it’s still early days, if it keeps going the way it is this will be one of the best and most talked about comics out there.

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