Promotional art for Haunt #2. Art by Todd McFarlane.
|First appearance||Haunt #1 (October 2009)|
|Created by||Todd McFarlane
|Full name||Daniel Kilgore and Kurt Kilgore|
Haunt is a fictional comic book superhero who appeared in a self-titled ongoing series published by Image Comics. Created by Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman, the series debuted in October 2009 and ended in December 2012 after 28 issues. The comic was originally written by Kirkman with pencils by Ryan Ottley, layouts by Greg Capullo, and inks by McFarlane. Joe Casey and Nathan Fox took over as the book's creative team as of Haunt #19.
The book's eponymous main character is the merged form of Catholic priest Daniel Kilgore, and the ghost of his murdered secret agent brother, Kurt.
In a 2008 interview with Newsarama, Kirkman explained that the initial storyline in Haunt deals with Kurt trying to solve his own murder. In February 2009 at New York Comic Con, Kirkman provided an overview of the series:
|“||The main basis of the story is that there are two brothers who have hated each other for a good long time and are now forced to interact because one of them has died and is haunting the other. It's a big action extravaganza from there on out.||”|
Background and creation
During a Q&A session at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con, McFarlane called on Kirkman, who was seated in the audience. Kirkman stood up and expressed that he was a fan, and wanted to know why McFarlane didn't work on comics anymore. Not recognizing Kirkman, McFarlane responded, "I always sort of felt if you could create your own Mickey Mouse, it's a pretty good living. You don't need to do a Donald Duck and a Goofy and a Minnie Mouse. Arguably, [I've done that] with Spawn." He added, "I do have some ideas, but I can only spread myself so thin." Fellow panelist Brian Haberlin finally told McFarlane that the audience member was Kirkman. After exchanging jokes, McFarlane asked Kirkman if he would be interested in collaborating on a project, to which Kirkman agreed.
In July 2008 Kirkman explained that the book had been delayed due to artist trouble. This was prior to the announcement that Ottley and Capullo were joining the art team. It was also revealed that McFarlane would draw covers for the series.
The initial teaser indicated a summer 2009 launch, but no firm date was established until July, when Image announced the premiere issue would be released October 7, 2009. McFarlane has shouldered the blame for the delays, saying, "I didn't want to be in a position where I put out a solicitation for the sake of putting out a solicitation. That's too easy." He added, "I know it's been a little frustrating to Robert, but it's already been two years – what's two years and one month? We gotta do it. We gotta get it right." In July, a limited edition, 16-page preview book debuted at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con.
- Daniel Kilgore - an associate priest, he later quits his Church to join The Agency.
- Kurt Kilgore - a deceased Agency agent and Daniel's estranged brother, the two become closer after his murder is solved and The Agency trains Daniel.
- Haunt - this being is created when Kurt's spirit merges with Daniel's body. They are merged through Kurt's spiritual tether to Daniel and generate ectoplasm.
- Director Beth Tosh - Kurt's former lover, now acting Director of the Agency.
- Mirage - an agent working for the Agency and another former lover of Kurt's, she watches over Daniel's progress.
- Assistant Director Theresa Rhodes - a sleeper agent in the Agency, she was instrumental in Kurt's murder.
- Mr. Hurg - a crime boss obsessed with fitness and health, he orchestrated Kurt's death and is highly skilled in combat.
- Cobra - an assassin hired by Mr. Hurg, his face is mutilated by Haunt, and resconstructive surgery leaves him very similar to his namesake.
- Amanda Kilgore - Kurt's widow and Daniel's former lover/wife. Her relationship with Daniel was cut short due to her infidelity with Kurt.
Less than a week before the release of Haunt #1, online columnist Rich Johnston reported that comic book retailers pre-ordered nearly 60,000 copies of the first issue, which is more than a typical issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.
Haunt #1 received mixed reviews from critics. Jason Green of Playback:stl described the issue as "weird, wildly violent stuff, but it's also a visceral thrill, thanks mostly to the dark, evocative artwork." Green praised each of the book's creators, saying that they "mesh perfectly." On the other hand, Jesse Schedeen of IGN said Kirkman "doesn't offer any of his usual magic with these characters. Daniel and Kurt have no real depth to them. The series is completely and utterly cheerless. It takes itself far too seriously to the point of becoming a silly melodrama."
Chad Nevett of Comic Book Resources called the artwork "disappointing, if only because Ryan Ottley is a better artist than Haunt #1’s work displays." Nevett also criticized the book for reading "almost like a parody of itself with dark characters, [...] excessive violence, [...] and a character design obviously influenced by McFarlane’s work on Spider-Man." Haunt's design was also considered similar to symbiotes in Spider-Man.
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Haunt, Volume 1||Haunt #1-6||April 2010||978-1607061540|
|Haunt, Volume 2||Haunt #7-12||February 2011||978-1607062295|
|Haunt, Volume 3||Haunt #13-18||June 2012||978-1607065524|
|Haunt, Volume 4||Haunt #19-24||October 2012||978-1607065883|
|Haunt, Volume 5||Haunt #25-28||January 2014||978-1607066798|
|Title||Material collected||Publication date||ISBN|
|Haunt: Immortal Edition||Haunt #1-12||August 2011||978-1607062417|
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- Wigler, Josh (2009-08-11). "CCI: Kirkmania". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
- Wigler, Josh (2009-07-25). "CCI Exclusive: Kirkman and McFarlane on Haunt". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
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