Home Sick Pilots #9 Review

by Nick Devonald on September 14, 2021

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

This second arc of Home Sick Pilots has flicked between telling Meg and Rips story, then jumping back to Ami and Buzz, which has set up the upcoming conflict nicely while making readers able to empathise with both sets of characters. This latest issue is focused on Meg and Rip, who have just seen the fallout from Ami and Buzz’s adventures in the last issue, and Meg is now preparing to go after the Old James House and stop it once and for all.

This issue really delves deep into the mythology of the ghosts and expands on it. Not only does is it exciting to explore this world in much greater detail it also sets up future storylines. It gives a definitive answer for what a ghost is, one which Dan Watters has written just for this comic, one which also applies to other ghost stories as well. There’s a clever scene where Meg gets the chance to investigate some of the Ghosts that the mysterious government outfit, she has allied herself with, have captured so far. It’s nicely done and explores where a ghost comes from. And as an added bonus the Hundredth Monkey Effect gets a bit of coverage, regardless of each readers thoughts on it it's always an interesting concept to explore.

Meg is probably the biggest victim to come out of the story so far, and even as she does horrific things in this issue it’s clear that she is still playing the role of victim and doesn’t have any power over events. The first story arc ended with a climactic battle, and this second story arc looks to be setting up another climatic battle. The Nuclear Bastard is ready to be deployed, and this time the Old James House has been separated from Ami. Whatever happens it is going to make for an exciting and action-packed finale to the second volume. And although it’s in danger of feeling like it's repeating itself it still manages to feel new and fresh.

Caspar Wijngaard has had some stunning ghost designs throughout the course of the series, and the design he’s created for Meg with her former bandmates has been one of the more inspired. This issue he gets the chance to really embrace the horror element of this particular haunting. Colour is used to good effect in this issue, reds representing the ghosts and blue the ghost deadening salt, there is one page which really contrasts these colours in an effective way and ends up being a clever storytelling trick as well.

Aditya Bidikar has done some incredible lettering over the course of this series as well. The ghosts give him a unique opportunity to do some lettering which goes beyond the standard lettering readers are familiar with from other comics and looks great on the page.

It’s an incredibly unique concept that Watters and Wijngaard have created with Home Sick Pilots, and unlike most new stories with different and unique tales to tell, Home Sick Pilots continues to impress and tell new and different stories than readers are expecting. All the pieces are in play for an incredible finale to this story arc, and with sympathetic characters all around who are in truth victims of the ghosts that haunt them, it’s difficult to know who to root for in the coming battle.

Our Score:


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