Title: Ghoul Squad #2
Writer: Brandon Rhiness
Pencils & Inks: Carlos Trigo
Colors: Nick O’Gorman
Letters: Chris Johnson
Publisher: The Higher Universe
Ghoul Squad #2 Plot Synopsis:
In Ghoul Squad #2 Varney the Vampire has gathered an assortment of “monsters” and set up shop in a castle in Transylvania. His plan is to combat supernatural evil in the region (and make a fortune doing so).
The so-called “monsters” he convinced to join him do not share Varney’s enthusiasm, but as long as there’s a paycheck involved, they’ll go along for the ride. In their first outing they nearly managed to capture a werewolf. However, the werewolf escaped, leading the Ghoul Squad to return to the castle to formulate a new plan. Little do they realize that the werewolf is following them back to the castle….
Ghoul Squad #2 Comic-Book Review:
The “sophomore slump” is a problem that transcends the divides between creative mediums. It can exist in film, TV, or print – and the single commonality, no matter where it appears, is that it can kill the momentum of any project. The good news is: Ghoul Squad #2 completely avoids any sign of such a slump in its second outing. The best elements of the first issue stay in play and are seamlessly carried along by even more strong work by the creative team.
The major question on my mind when I began to read this issue was simple: could the Ghoul Squad be more than a novelty? It’s first outing was quirky, fun, and light. That’s all well and good, but we all know novelty wears off pretty fast. Fortunately for everyone, the creators of this comic seem to realize that as well. Don’t get me wrong – the quirks are still there, but what begins to emerge in this second issue are the characterizations and emotional connections that will keep readers not only interested, but invested in the series as it continues.
After their first mission, we start to see the members of the Ghoul Squad meshing with each other on more than a superficial, businesslike level. Everyone, that is, except Mr. Varney the Vampire. His inability to view his team as companions rather than employees (and said team’s resistance to this status quo), is fast shaping up to be one of the more interesting elements of the book. Varney’s brought everyone together to ostensibly change the public perception of monsters, but we see him exhibit a similar strain of the very discrimination he decries, in regards to his treatment of the very human butler Arthur Cunningham. Where this attitude comes from and whether Varney will take steps to change it are both compelling questions set up here.
Once again, Chris Trigo’s art perfectly partners with Brandon Rhiness’ writing to create a seamless vision of the book’s Transylvanian adventures. Trigo’s settled into a strong groove with both the book’s overall aesthetic and the characters, and the resulting visual gags and character moments are often laugh-out-loud funny. All told, Ghoul Squad remains a great series whose individual issues both hold up to repeated readings and leave you wanting more where that came from. I, for one, will definitely be returning for Ghoul Squad Issue #3.
You can buy Ghoul Squad #2 via the Higher Universe website.