(Image Comics, 2013)
Review by Brad Gischia
STORY BY: Michael Moreci & Steve Seeley
ARTWORK BY: T-Rex Jones
LETTERING BY: Jim Campbell
DESIGN: T-Bone Daniel
*Spoilers. If you want to be a tabula rasa for your return to the series, read no further. If your purity has been previously besmirched…read on.
Very often we worry when a new comic takes a hiatus, no matter what the creators previous track record may be. When a book I enjoy announces that they’re taking some time off, even if it coincides with summer vacation, my mind immediately goes to the Battlechasers debacle of the late 90’s, and I shudder to think that one of my favorites may be on the brink. Fortunately, Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley have given us grounds to trust in their abilities to continue after a break, and to return from said hiatus stronger than ever. Ladies and Gentlemen, Hoax Hunters has returned.
To recap what has happened thus far go to http://hoaxhunterscomic.blogspot.com/ , where the creators have made a convenient PDF that will walk you through the plot up to this point. This is the beginning of a new story arc, though to get the full affect you should probably at least catch up with the PDF, just so the characters are familiar.
Moreci begins with a flashback on Regan’s young life, the persecution she had put up with from the people in her community in regards to her powers. There is a flash forward, which ends with Regan’s p.o.v. and the image of a fuzzy monstrosity bearing down on her.
Flash to present, and Donovan scheming, showing his true nature both literally and figuratively, and telling us that he has something in the works. It sets up the new story arc, letting us know that he is still working towards his own goals.
There is a scene with the whole team, with Josh and Lauren from the last arc taking a permanent role on Jack’s team. There are problems centered around Hauncheyville, where a group of were-creatures are wrecking havoc, and the team is headed in to check it out. Donovan insists that he and Regan must leave on a separate issue, and in the end that is what they decide to do. This is the literal splitting of the core of the team, (Jack, Ken and Regan) as well as proof of how much they have come to depend on Murder, who has been mysteriously absent. (He is communing with the crows…oh so many crows.) There are hints of Jack having more knowledge of what may be happening than he is willing to let the others know, and Ken has a problem with it. The team is splitting along these lines as well.
This arc is set up like this…Donovan and Regan vs. some incarnation of or from her past, and the rest of the crew vs. the were-creatures and themselves. It is a larger team though fractured along Regan’s allegiance to her friends and her need to know about her past. She will definitely play a major role in the coming events.
Along with the break, the Hoax Hunters crew has added a new artist in T-rex Jones, who has risen to the occasion. His art looks like water color and ink, and reminds me of a Wolverine/Havoc crossover from 1988 called “Meltdown” and drawn by Jon J. Muth. The creature he has drawn for the Regan flashback has a Guillermo Del Toro feel to it, and is a great accompaniment to the story.
Keep an eye out for The McMahons preview in the back, it feels like an underground comic, sort of R. Crumb style, all about some anthropomorphic turtles and their battle against the couch. There is also a sweet Hoax Hunters cover by Denver Brubaker, creator of Tales of a Checkered Man, which I reviewed previously for this site and highly recommend.
Like I said before, if you’ve not read Hoax Hunters, issue 10 is on the stand today, and begins a new story arc. Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley have done a great job launching themselves off of their hiatus, and taking us forward with a larger team into a second act that, based on Issue 10, will be even better than the first.
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