Old Haunts #1
Written by Ollie Masters
Rob Williams Art by Lee Loughridge
Cover Art by Laurence Campbell
Artists, Writers & Artisans, Inc.
Three Made Men, standing at the brink of retirement, find their unbreakable bond put to the ultimate test when they are suddenly assaulted by the ghosts of their past. Confronted by decades of buried secrets – resentments, affairs, doublecrosses, and murders – the three friends have no choice but to unearth the deepest, darkest sin from their past and pray they don’t find an empty grave.
Old Haunts feels like it would be very easy to sum up – it’s a well-drawn comic about Las Vegas mobsters trying to get out of their life of crime before it catches up to them – but the last few pages explode into something more. For most of the issue, all the cliches are there – digging holes in the desert, lots of booze, police tails, and of course, arguing about who did who wrong. Honestly, it’s kinda nothing special. But the last few pages really flips the switch and turns the story into something different. It’s hard to rave about issue #1 for that, because it’s up to issue #2 to pay off or not, but at least I’m going in to it excited.
Other than that, Old Haunts #1 is perfectly average. The story doesn’t do much to stray from tried and true stereotypes, the characters don’t leap off the page, and the art is exactly sufficient. There’s nothing to complain about, but it doesn’t really excite the reader either. Before the hook, I suspected I wouldn’t be thinking about this one for long at all. Thank God for that hook!
Now, I don’t love that a first issue exists only to set up what follows. I do think every issue should stand on its own, and this one does not. Criminals talk and drink, then something strange happens. But the way that strangeness is presented really sunk its claws into me, so I’m willing to forgive a weak introduction, this once, in hopes that the investment pays off in future issues. Does Old Haunts have something special here, or is the twist a cheap trick to sell me one more comic. I guess only the follow up will tell, but I’ll be there to find out, for sure.
An Excellent Take on Standard Vegas Gangsters
The majority of Old Haunts feels old indeed - Vegas gangsters trying to cash out but having to deal with all their past sins - but the end of this issue sets up a story that I definitely want more of. It may be a slow burn, but it leaves me with the highest of hopes.