This review is based on an advance pdf copy, supplied by the publisher.
This book had a lot to live up to. I read the previous release from Sequential Pulp Comics, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', which was also written by Martin Powell, and gave it a very good review. I also read and reviewed Martin Powell's prose novel introduction to the 'Halloween Legion', which I again praised highly.
I admit to approaching this one with a little trepidation. I liked the prose novel so much that I feared the writing might lose something in the comic strip format. I really shouldn't have worried. Martin Powell has a great deal of experience in both prose and comics writing and made the transition flawlessly. I might have further worried that Diana Leto, who designed all the characters, didn't handle all the artwork for this book, but I actually preferred Thomas Boatwright's art, based on Ms Leto's designs, to her own work on the bonus strip, which is not in any way intended as a criticism of Ms Leto's excellent work.
I probably shouldn't give away too much of the story. Suffice to say that it concerns an alien invasion attempt, which our heroes have to foil. We learn a little more about the abilities and limitations of the Halloween Legion along the way.
As I previously mentioned, there's a short bonus strip, with art by Diane Leto, which tells the true story of the events that happened to Martin Powell one Halloween, when he was just six years old. Events which would inspire the creation of these characters.
Like the prose novel that preceded it, this graphic novel is perfectly suitable for young children (unless you're one of those religious nuts, who think any mention of magic in fiction is the road to damnation) yet it's still a really entertaining read for jaded adults.
I generally like to include some criticism to balance out my reviews, as I sometimes worry that overwhelmingly positive reviews might not get taken seriously. Mr Powell seems set on making this impossible to achieve.