Night of the Ghoul #2 – Scott Snyder, Writer; Francisco Francavilla, Artist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: The first issue of Night of the Ghoul was one of the most electric debuts I’ve read in a long time, twenty-plus pages of nerve-jangling horror combining a mystery set in a modern asylum with flashbacks to a dark film that never was – set amid the horrors of World War II as a new evil emerged. Making the mysterious Ghoul the apparent source of all other monsters in the world was a fascinating twist, and this next issue does not disappoint as it explores the mythos more. The mysterious filmmaker T.F. Merrit, now hideously scarred and living in a mysterious nursing home populated with shady doctors and staff, reveals more of his film – but is it truly a film, or is it a tale he experienced personally?
The new segments we see of the film take place after the war, without the resolution of last issue’s cliffhanger. Two soldiers, Kurt and Johnny, did make it back home – but Kurt is different somehow, barely even seeming to recognize his son. His son and his former comrade in arms team up to try to find out the truth about his condition, but don’t find any answers. There are some truly disturbing lines here as it’s described what exactly has been observed about his behavior, and a great last-page image that leaves more questions than answers. The disjointed nature of these segments could have been distracting in lesser hands, but this team makes them fascinatingly eerie.
And in the present day, Forest and Orson Inmann continue their search for answers in the asylum. While Merrit’s answers are often frustratingly vague – probably intentionally, as there’s a lot of story to go – Orson’s own exploration of the asylum provides more answers. This is a haunted house story at its core, one that spans time and plays games with our perceptions. As it goes on, we get some great, unsettling jump scares. It continues to be the most ambitious and fascinating of the whole Scottober lineup so far.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.