In the latest issue of Bowen McCurdy and Kaitlyn Musto’s Specter Inspectors, the gang finds themselves in a spooky mansion filled with centuries of secrets, and it’s going to take everyone’s perspective to find their way out.
This issue is full of fun little gags that can only work in the comics medium. One of them happens within the first few pages: when the museum attendant warns the gang not to check out a creepy room on the third floor, excited stars dance in front of Noa’s face. As soon as they’re told that the attendant was just joking, the stars wilt and fall to the floor. It’s a brilliant little moment that plays with the format.
Another great bit of visual storytelling is the continuing shifts between Astrid’s personality and that of the demon controlling her. Astrid’s whole demeanor changes each time the demon take over, including her body language and the light in her eyes. One really memorable series of panels shows Astrid arguing with the demon, and the reader can see Astrid asserting her control. Her head tilts to the side whenever she’s pushing her own words out, while her body stands completely upright when it’s the demon’s turn to speak. It’s a very subtle bit of choreography that speaks volumes about the struggle between these two characters.
The shifts between the demon’s perspective and Gus’ are handled really well, almost becoming as disorienting for the reader as it is for the characters. The same can be said for the sequence in which the walls begin closing in, with the shifts in the room’s orientation and the speed lines coming from the wall/ceiling adding to the thrill of the scene.
This issue also thankfully addressed a problem I had with the previous issue, in that it digs a bit more into Noa’s paranormal sensitivity. I was a little confused last month about how Noa knew to go to certain places and do certain things at the right time, but this issue has Noa helpfully explain some of the rules of her abilities, without actually over-explaining them.
The escape sequence toward the end is appropriately chaotic, with all of the main characters scrambling to safety and tripping over themselves, but there were a few brief moments. There are a few bits that feel a bit unclear, but that’s probably by design, and the sequence as a whole is very exciting.
Overall, this might be my favorite issue of the series so far. The mystery continues to develop in interesting ways, and there are a few moments in here where the characters open up to one another that will definitely pull on your heartstrings. This issue also dives into the question of why different people seek out the paranormal. Whether it’s for fame, validation, or a chance to comfort another human being, everyone is drawn to the Other Side for different and equally-valid reasons.
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