Zenescope’s twelve issue episodic spook story has taken us to a traveling carnival, a cemetery, a penitentiary, and now an apartment building. The aptly named Spirit Hunters follows a group of paranormal experts that have all the necessary initiates that you would need for a team such as this. Zenescope is notorious for its fleshy and stylized covers and they do not disappoint with issue #5, the promise of demon-like ghosts surrounding a tortured damsel in distress should satisfy the promise emblazoned on issue #1, “horrifying haunting’s in every issue”.
We are thrown right into the mix as we witness a nameless victim being visited by two ghostly figures. Could it be Ellen, one of our sidelined Spirit Hunters, or is this person connected to the apparitions? With Dr. Chase and Ellen sidelined the remaining crew assemble to investigate an event at an apartment building. The team promptly meets several inhabitants of the apartment building, several tenants and the Maintenance Tech. As Curtis and Ferguson meet with one of the parties that had a paranormal experience, Vera disappears. With the cell phones crippled and the investigation in its early stages, Curtis and Ferguson may need to use other worldly options to find Vera before it’s too late.
With a bullpen full of story creators and the writers Ralph Tedesco (Charmed), and Pat Shand (Charmed), you think that a book that promises to offer “horrifying haunting’s in every issue”, might attempt to materialize something scarier. The cover of this issue epitomizes the statement, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, as not a single one of these incredibly eerie ghosts make an appearance in this issue. Instead, the creepy ghouls are two poorly rendered specters that you might find in The Ring, only not remotely as scary. As for the team investigating a paranormal event, they bear no tools or equipment to use in their investigations. The writers have difficulty establishing the road blocks our heroes are attempting to endure, at one point the cell phones don’t work which is corroborated by several tenants, then Curtis is calling Vera and getting her voice mail. A convenient moment finds Curtis face-to-face with one of the ghosts and the final twist is contrived and obvious. As always Zenescope’s art is redeeming but the ghost they give us in the pages versus the cover is unbelievably disappointing. Lastly, the first panels of the book present a scene that is never truly explained in the book, you never truly learn in this issue who that is or was. I am a fan of Zenescope’s cover art as it’s always vivid and as Joe Brusha (Founder) has touted before, these covers “get the job done”. I would not be inclined to finish this twelve issue run as I give issue #5, 2 out of 5 stars.
(W) Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco (CA) Alfredo Reyes