Haunt vol 1 follows the Kilgore brothers Daniel & Kurt, who end up sharing a body and becoming the creature Haunt. Daniel is an uncommitted priest who sleeps with prostitutes and Kurt a soldier who would put Captain America and any GI Joe to shame. While on an extraction mission Kurt finds his target, Doctor Shillinger, experimenting on live humans. In a moment of clarity he kills the doctor and rescues the test subjects. Meanwhile, unknown to him, someone steals a notebook off the Doctor’s body. Back in town afterwards, Kurt is kidnapped and killed by people who are trying to find the notebook.
At Kurt’s funeral, Daniel starts talking to his ghost and agrees to look after his wife, is in case the people who killed him go after her. Daniel, who was in love with Kurt’s wife, reluctantly goes to protect her. In the middle of the night she is attacked and out comes Haunt, a creature resembling the Spider-Man villain Venom. He, however, seems to enjoy killing as much as Carnage, another villain from the Spider-Man rogues gallery. Between Haunt and a little help from a ghostly Kurt, Daniel disposes of the killers in violent fashion. From here on out we follow Daniel using Haunt and accompanied by Kurt’s ghost as they go about trying to get answers.
Haunt is like a rollercoaster ride; the story seems like it’s trying to outrun itself and get to the next moment but, unlike the rollercoaster, there never seems to be a moment to catch your breath before going experiencing the next big thrill. I remember questioning once or twice whether this was ghost written or not, because this does not resemble any of Kirkman’s other books. The dialogue comes off as clunky and clichéd, while the art does no better. This is really odd, seeing as Ryan Ottley (pencils), Greg Capullo (layouts) and Todd McFarlane (inks) are all talented and accomplished artist. Instead, the art is uneven and rushed; it looks nice in places but isn’t memorable in the least.
I’m not sure if the creators we trying to channel their inner teenagers, or maybe this is one of those books that’s riding the Kick-Ass wave of blood and grit. The only reason I would suggest this is if you’re looking for something mindless and violent, and even then I could suggest a few other things that would accomplish it much better, such as the aforementioned Kick-Ass. This book reads like someone going through the motions and making a quick money grab, which is disappointing considering all the big names on the cover. It’s the equivalent of the recent glut of 3D movies that are full of effects and nothing else. If you’re in the mood for it than by all means go for it, but otherwise put your money towards something more deserving.