The anticipation for Night of the Ghoul is high for many thanks to it being part of eight titles Scott Snyder is co-creating at comiXology, but also because it has been teased for years. Now available digitally, Snyder and Francesco Francavilla join forces on a horror tale that involves an incredible monster, a lost film, and a father and son who may not make it out of the story alive.
Between the incredible Clear — which I gave a perfect 10/10 — and We Have Demons which both came out earlier this month, Snyder is on a roll. Night of the Ghoul has a lot of elements that feel familiar, but also new all over again. It features a World War II story told via the lost film which the main character details and may in fact be a cursed object. There’s a clear love of classic horror movies at work here too, which permeates the main character’s dialogue as he questions a very old man. Much like Snyder’s other works out this month, there’s nothing else like this in comics right now.
Much of that is owed to Francavilla, who brings his incredibly unique, unnerving, and expressive style to the page here. Francavilla pencils and colors an opening page that you can practically feel the chill off of. The story opens with Mr. Inman and his son driving to old folks’ home in the dead of night. It’s probably a bad sign they must drive through a cemetery to get there, but it allows Francavilla to draw some iconic horror imagery. Even though much of the story takes place between Inman and the old man in a hospital bed, Francavilla draws you in with the old man’s piercing eyes and Inman’s manic, exciting energy.
The idea introduced involving the monster is an intriguing one, though a bit familiar. I won’t spoil it here, but simplifying monsters has been done before, and yet how it’s described through dialogue is intriguing. Knowing an old movie ties into it allows Snyder to bounce between different plots. Time is spent with the characters in the movie, so much so you’ll be drawn into their predicament even though it’s a film. Or is it?
Night of the Ghoul plays with our concept of monsters, horror films, and ancient evil in an absorbing way. This is the kind of comics story you don’t always see, which further shows Snyder and Francavilla are doing new things at a time when comics are as innovative as ever. Add Night of the Ghoul to that list of innovative comics well worth exploring.
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