Comic Review: Haunted Horror #5

Haunted Horror #5
Edited by Steve Banes, Clizia Gussoni, and Craig Yoe
Illustrated by Various
Colored by Various
Lettered by Uncredited
Cover by Tony Mortellaro (pencils) and Bernard Baily (inks)
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

What do you get when you mix all-American sports gone wrong, voluptuous blondes in peril, and clumsy vampires? No, thankfully not another Twilight sequel, but instead the latest sampler of vintage horror’s greatest hits (and misses) in Haunted Horror #5 from IDW.

These seven tales of the bizarre and macabre were originally published in Golden Age favorites including Fantastic Fears, Voodoo, and Horrific, and their 1950s flavor definitely adds to their appeal today by providing a bit of a humorous distraction from the usual gore found in modern horror collections.

If you enjoy a classic B-movie, then you’ll probably find a few things you like in Haunted Horror #5:

In “The Man Who Lost His Body,” a pro baseball pitcher finds that he can take away more than just helpful advice from a group of all-star ghosts he meets on the field after a game.

Skin “˜Em Alive“ reveals that a record-winning football player doesn’t have his leg to thank for his prize kicks but rather the custom made balls he insists on using during crunch times.

A tale of a man so henpecked by his wife about his love of bowling with his buddies turns ugly in “Night Owl“ after his plan of having her join the league to quiet her nagging backfires. This short stands out as both the most gruesome and the most hilariously dated tale of the group.

Valley of Horror“ is a twisted story of a couple who assumes that a short-cut on their road trip is a great way to take in some of the local color. They quickly find out that that local color involves them running for their lives thanks to the biggest case of mistaken identity ever.

What night at the drive-in would be complete without a creature feature? None – and neither would any vintage horror comic. “Dragon Egg!“ delivers a hefty dose of unbelievable scenarios, clueless victims, and monster rage in a single short story and fills the niche nicely.

The shining star for art in Haunted Horror #5 is without a doubt “Ghoul’s Bride“ with its stunning work by the Jerry Iger Shop. Sadly, this story of a woman awaiting execution who makes a deal with Death starts strong and finishes worse than weak.

The Night of Friday 13“ rounds out this issue with a surprising story told from Death’s point of view with enough “what the huh?” twists and turns to leave you feeling like you’ve just stepped off the Tilt-a-Whirl. The art is appealing, but the plot is almost putrid. This is definitely one of those stories that makes you wonder if it was written by pulling random causes of death from a hat.

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