PREVIOUSLY: Halloween Man #5
This is a special double-sized (148 pages) issue, for the same low-price of $1.99, featuring several short stories of our favorite shovel-wielding undead zombie and his cast of creatures in sci-fi Solar City. Drew Edwards writes the majority of the stories, and has assembled a talented group of artists to illustrate them. This time I think I’ll grade each story individually instead of as a group like I usually do.
LUCY CHAPLIN VERSUS THE FARMERS GHOST
Drawn by regular Halloween Man artist Sergio Calvet this story has Lucy traveling to a campsite in Texarkana where the authorities claim that a ghost has been abducting women. Lucy sets herself up as bait and waits for the ghost to try to abduct her. Sure enough, the “ghost” arrives, and Lucy uses her wits, technical prowess, and physical strength to fight off the ghost and find out exactly what happened to the missing women. I like this story because it makes a point of emphasizing Lucy’s sex appeal (the ghost only abducts attractive women) without harping on the fact that she’s bigger now. That’s been a small complaint I’ve had about this series ever since Lucy’s transformation in issue #2. And although a character does reference how he prefers Lucy’s voluptuous body of those of skinnier girls, it feels more like a natural part of the story here, rather than something that was added just to send a “pro-BBW message.”
SPOOK CITY USA
This is an older story, from the title’s days as a webcomic, drawn by Nicola Scott. It opens with Solomon and Lucy lounging around in bed, when they’re interrupted by Morlack, who calls upon Solomon to come with him to an underground city of Monsters which is being attacked by a racist KKK-like group called the Red Guard. Solomon must try to defend the innocent monsters, since he can relate to the fact that they’re feared and hated for their appearance, except the monsters are just as scared of him as they are of the Red Guard because, y’know, Solomon’s reputation for killing monsters. An interesting story with a moral message about prejudice.
Drawn by David Baldeon, this has Solomon, Lucy, and Morlack facing off against a Headless Horseman-type of monster who slices people’s head’s off and then raises an army of headless zombies. It’s pretty cool. I particularly enjoy the confrontational dialog between Lucy and Morlack.
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT
Drawn by Sergio Calvet, Solomon teams up with Morlack’s transgender half-Succubus son who is a paid assassin and now has a squad of ninjas hired to kill her. And if THAT doesn’t sound awesome to you, why are you even reading this?!? This is a large 7-part story that also features other Solar City characters like Man-Goat and Mr. Maximum of the Sentinels of Justice.
TALES OF SOLAR CITY: RED & FRANK’S NIGHT OUT
This story is written by Julian Dossett and drawn by Beau Chappelle, this black and white (and red) story has a couple of intruders sneaking into Solomon’s house on a dark night. Solomon’s not home, but Lucy is. And the intruders quickly learn that they picked the wrong house to break into. This story is much darker in tone the rest of the comic, but it works. It feels more like a traditional horror story, without any comedic or sci-fi elements included.
GOD OF MACHINES
Drawn by Holland King, this issue has a street gang of robots trying to raise an ancient robot-god. Or something. The artwork is good but this story didn’t really grab me.
DEMONS DON’T DREAM
Drawn by Eliseu Gouveia, this has Solomon and Lucy taking on a giant cyclops who is attacking the city. But Solomon has been plagued by visions of Lucy dying, which shakes his confidence and makes him overly protective of her. Gouveia’s art is really beautiful here.
There’s also a gorgeous pin-up of Lucy drawn by Terry Par and some other illustrations by Scary Larry Williams. Altogether this issue is one heck of a package. If you haven’t been reading Halloween Man, this issue would be the perfect one to start with!