Monday, July 4, 2016

The Haunted Mansion #4 Review - Marvel Mondays


Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art by: Jorge Coelho, Jean-Francois Beaulieu and Joe Caramagna
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

This is a weird book for me to review for Marvel Monday.  It is obviously a Disney book rather than a Marvel Universe one and I am not a huge Disney fan in general.  I have been to the Haunted Mansion one time when I was 8 years old and it just wasn't my thing.  Space Mountain on the other hand...  I am, however, a Josh Williamson fan and wanted to check out how one of my favorite horror comic writers had up his sleeve for a property such as this. Now that I've found that out, I'm here to tell you folks what I thought.  So, here we go...

The issue starts off with a little flashback to show you just how evil Constance is.  Her poor mother just wants one of her daughter's husbands to live past the wedding night, but it looks like another is headed for the same fate.  It's amazing what good looks can get you back in 1879 New Orleans!

The book shifts to the present and we find out more information about Constance and it's not any better.  She can kill anyone, living or dead, who enters the attic.  Of course, that's exactly where the Captain is taking Danny and I don't trust that swashbuckling ghost one damn bit.

The first thing that anybody who reads this book will notice is how damn good it looks.  Jorge Coelho's art is top notch and his character models kick ass.  Jean-Francois Beaulieu joins in with color work that gives everything that "other-wordly" look that is dark, yet still fun.

Joshua Williamson's character work is also great and it gets even better as Pickwick swoops in and grabs Danny from the Captain's evil clutches.  He explains his reasons to Danny as they run away and his plan is a real head scratcher.  He wants Danny to the attic!  What What?!? It makes more sense when he tells Danny there is something more valuable up there than the Captain's treasure.

Of course, the Captain isn't going to just sit back and let anything happen besides what he wants and he attacks Danny.  The Captain is obviously one of those "I'll kill you the same way I died" kind of guys...kind of a masochistic Hamurabi.  Does that even make sense?!?

It all leads to a pretty cool extended scene of Danny overcoming his fear and thinking back at what his Grandpa taught him so that he can escape the Captain and get guessed it, the attic!  I guess if something is meant to be, it's meant to be!

After all the lead up to seeing the attic and Constance, I was afraid it would be a letdown, but Williamson, Coelho and Beaulieu make sure that's not the case.  Constance is so damn creepy, but there is more to her than just being evil.  She's also bat shit crazy and folks, that there is a double threat if I ever saw one!  The issue ends with Danny possibly escaping or maybe falling further down the haunted rabbit hole he's found himself in.  I'm not sure, but it looks crazy enough.

I really like this book.  It's more creepy than scary, but also has a fun vibe to it that makes it even better in my opinion.  Williamson gives us fleshed out characters (funny since they are ghosts!  Is this on?!?) who may or may not be good, but are certainly memorable.  I like Danny and his adventures are like a messed up, spooky version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and yes, that is a really good thing.

I mentioned it already, but Jorge Coelho and Jean-Francois Beaulieu art in this book is one of it's main selling points.  The character work is great and everything has an olde tyme book look to it. You know I mean business when I spell it like that!  Just look at the pictures here in the review and you will get my drift.

Bits and Pieces:

This book kind of slides between genres and might only catch a select group's eyes and that is a shame.  If you are looking for an adventure story with great characters and art that fits the spooky feel to a tee, then here it is!  I know that Danny is trying to get out of the Haunted Mansion, but if I had my druthers, I'd never let him leave.  Am I an awful person?  Yes.  Am I loving this book?  Again, yes.


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