Halloween Man #9

hm9
Written by Drew Edwards
Drawn by Sergio Calvert
Published by Sugar Skull Media

PREVIOUSLY: HALLOWEEN MAN #8

And we’re back with a (ridiculously late) review for Halloween Man. They’ve changed publishers since I last reviewed this book, but still providing the same level of entertainment, for just $1.99 per issue. This issue has two full stories, and they’re really goods ones.

THE TERRIBLE FRUIT BATS, PART 3
This 30-page story is the conclusion of the main story from the two most recent issues, and it’s a big one. Halloween Man vs. Baron Vordenberg to the death. But what about all the innocent citizens of Nilbog whom the Baron has transformed? Can they be saved, or must Halloween Man (and Lucy, Nikodemis, and Man-Goat) destroy them too? A tough call has to made… Not only is this an action-packed story, but it packs and emotional punch as well.

BAD RELIGION
This is an older story, I believe from the days when this strip was a web comic, as Lucy is still drawn in her “thinner” physique. It’s a 35-page story divided into 6 chapters. Apparently, the biggest religion in Solar City is The Church of Elvis. A fundamentalist Christian leader named Reverend Pike comes to town with many members of his flock, to protest against the Church of Elvis. This also coincides with a rock star who has some to town for concert, and Pike is also protesting against him do to blasphemous comments he feels that the rock star has made. At first Halloween Man just thinks of this man as a nuisance, but he turns out to be way more dangerous they he could have ever imagined, as Pike’s powers of persuasion turn out to be supernatural. I don’t want to spoil this story, but it’s really good. And it ends with Halloween Man facing his BIGGEST foe yet.

Longtime readers of Halloween Man will recognize that this strip has always been an allegory for bigotry and discrimination, be it racial, sexual, gender, or religious (not to mention just plan old bigotry against anyone who is “different” from the norm), but tackling the issue of religious bigotry head-on is pretty brave (and timely, considering recent real world events). And I must say that the fact that Reverend Pike happens to be a Black man, part of a group that should be more sensitive about discrimination, is effective, showing that bigotry comes from many sides.

Either one of this stories would be enough for me to recommend buying this issue, but putting them both together is even better. Sergio Calvet does his usually excellent job in illustrating both. But, sadly, we learn in an editorial from Drew Edwards that this is Sergio’s last time on the title, for the foreseeable future, as he moves on to other projects. His contributions to this title will be missed.

Filling out the rest of this 95-page issue are several other features. Jason Henderson writes a two page piece about the history of a British movie studio called Hammer Films which in began making horror films in the late 1950’s, and continued to do so, for the next three decades. This is followed by 9 different reviews of various Hammer horror films. Russell Hillman then writes a 5 page review and recap of the film AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, explaining why it’s his favorite film of all time. And INSIDE SOLAR CITY AND BEYOND contains art images and descriptions of some of the various characters inhabiting the city (and this series). It’s always impressive that this series provides these type of extra features in each issue, with no extra coast.

So what are you waiting for? Go get this!

HALLOWEEN MAN #9

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