"Halloween Man Versus The Invisible Man" Graphic Novel Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Monsterverse
Written by Drew Edwards
Illustrated by Sergio Calvet
2014, 106 Pages
Graphic novel released on June 4th, 2014
Solomon Hitch was a writer before he was killed by a vampire. After being resurrected by a necromancer, he becomes a monster, protecting Solar City from other things that go bump in the night as Halloween Man. If hunting down demons and other nasties was a business, it would be booming for Hitch. The latest problem the city faces is leather-clad and often tied up. The local BDSM community has been dropping like flies under mysterious circumstances. No one knows who is responsible or how these people are dying. It's an unseen terror revealed to be none other than the Invisible Man.
The character of Halloween Man is pretty deep. It's described in the introduction as a “21st century Beauty and the Beast story” which fits very well. Solomon Hitch is hideously disfigured. Half of his face is horrifically scared. One of his hands is made up of nothing but bones. He eats human flesh but doesn't seem to crave brains like a shuffling zombie. Despite all this, he's in love with Dr. Lucy Chaplin and she's in love with him. It's a beautiful little romance that makes each of them stronger.
With this established, Halloween Man is quick to help when Claudette Rains, the owner of a local BDSM club, comes looking for assistance. These recent deaths could hurt her business and her person and the cops don't seem to care. Why would they? These folks are seen as freaks and weirdos for enjoying their bondage and leather. Solomon sees a kindred spirit in this group and wants to do what he can to help them, even though he's quick to point out he's not a detective.
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This gets back to the character of Halloween Man. He's somewhat of a reluctant hero. He has these supernatural abilities that are both a burden and a curse. They don't make him smarter though. He's still your basic guy. It's just that he can beat the crap out of monsters really well. This doesn't stop him from doing whatever he can to help people, especially those that are considered different by the masses. There's an underlying theme of acceptance at work here.
The Invisible Man himself is one of the scariest types of villains. He's very much insane. He thinks that what he's doing is right. Author Drew Edwards' take on the character is very sinister. When you get down to it, the Invisible Man could be one of the world's most deadly assassins, able to get up close to anyone without them knowing. Of course, he would have to be naked to accomplish that, but that's a detail that is often overlooked. His rampage through the BDSM community is his way of lashing out in revenge against the world for the monster he's become. He's what Halloween Man could have become if he didn't head down the path to becoming a hero.
Sergio Calvet brings Halloween Man vs. The Invisible Man to life. He has a style that's somewhat cartoony. His characters all have peanut-shaped heads and all of their shapes are very similar. The women are what stand out, especially in the BDSM club. They're all voluptuous, packed into the outfits you'd expect from this kind of establishment.
The one thing that is tough to get through with the art is Halloween Man's actual battle with the Invisible Man. This is something that could work well on screen, but is difficult to translate in comics. Think about it. You've got one guy fighting someone you can't see, so it looks like he's fighting himself or dodging mysterious floating objects. Is Solomon being choked or punched? I can't tell.
Halloween Man vs. The Invisible Man shows the human side of a monster. They can have feelings too. Solomon Hitch sees what kind of beast he is capable of becoming and it scares him. Could something happen that would push him down that path? He may look the part, but Hitch is a hero through and through.
Halloween Man vs. The Invisible Man is currently available digitally through ComiXology.