From the publisher: This Haunted World, created by Mark Powers, Rahmat Handoko, and Chris Lie, will be published in digital format initially. In This Haunted World readers see a world awash in conflict and suffering. Some believe the Biblical End Times have arrived; others believe a civilization too often driven by greed has simply begun the inevitable process of devouring itself. Amid the fear and chaos walks a shadow. He is in the war-torn hills of Afghanistan, in the tragedy wracked hills of Hiroshima. He is called by many names in many places – and where he walks, he brings death. Two men – one whose ivory tower has been shattered by scandal, the other sprawled on life’s rock bottom – unknowingly hold mankind’s only hope for survival. For a war unlike any other is about to be declared – one in which 10,000 years worth of sins and pain come back to haunt us…
I usually don’t read graphic novels as much as I would like to, but when I was given a chance to check this out before its initial release, I couldn’t resist! With that being said, there was a lot I liked and disliked about this first issue.
We will start with the bad, since it’s always good to end on a high note. The first thing that bothered me was the title, especially the way it’s presented on the cover page. It doesn’t really seem to fit the tone of the series as a whole. I really think the creators could have done a better job with that since it’s the first thing the reader will see. My other complaint is the feeling that the first issue was crammed full with information. We are introduced to the main three characters; a quadriplegic marine, a disillusioned Senator, and a parapsychologist, all of whom seem to be connected to one another and to this shadowy other-worldly figure that is gathering an army of souls, most likely for war. All of this provides the necessary set-up for the reader, but unfortunately leaves you unattached to the characters. Personally, I would have like to have had these introductions spread apart over more issues, and learned a little more about each character one by one. Maybe the creators have a reason for laying it out like this, so I don’t want to jump on them too much for the way the story is unfolding.
Now for the positives: The overall concept of the story is compelling to me, and when I finished reading I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The mixture of fantasy and dark elements into the present-day world really do fit well together. These gloomy elements seem to indicate some sort of religious twist as well. (I’m still undecided about how I feel with this plot device) But the important thing, like I said, is that overall I like the concept.
When speaking about the positives of This Haunted World, I must speak about the illustrations as well. (Kudos to the illustrators Rahmat Handoko and Chris Lie on a job well done) Some of the major illustrative highlights of this issue are the souls being gathered, mass suicides taking place, and my personal favorite, bullets raining down from the sky. The imagery in this issue is not only realistic, but goes perfect with the strange/terrifying nature of the story. I am definitely looking forward to what else is in store for my eyes.
One thing I do hope for in the upcoming issues is to somehow incorporate sexual themes into the story. The graphic novel already has an adult theme going on with its language,and graphic imagery, so it’s not totally unwarranted to want sexual themes added. Sex always makes a story better, especially in the horror genre.
All in all, I’m interested in seeing where the story goes based on the premise, which ends with a lot of promise. The illustrations hooked me, and I can’t wait to see where they go next. I will forewarn those looking at this series for their children and teens to check it our first. The imagery while amazing is not for everyone.
3 out of 5 Stars
Special thanks to Patrick over at Sea Lion Books for giving me an ARC copy to review!