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NTF Review: Halloween Eve

Caliburn24 here with a spooky comic book review.

Just in time for the holiday, Image Comics has published this one shot by creators Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder. Brandon Montclare is the writer for some Marvel Comics including the Fear Itself: Fearsome Four limited series. Reeder is the current artist for the New52 Batwoman title and the first artist for the first twenty-three and last issue of the Vertigo series, Madame Xanadu written by Matt Wagner. They have both raised Kickstarter funds for the production of the comic book. The comic book introduces Eve through a series of falling close-ups that resolve to her checking the jester costume of fellow employee, Raymond. The next page introduces the other workers at the store and Eve complains that she finds dressing up in costumes is foolish. The store floor has a giant bloodshot eye, a giant blue hand chair, a container with some devil tridents, and some costume bags for pumpkin heads. They are all a foreshadowing of what comes next. Bernardo, the nephew of the store’s owner, says that everyone is required to be in costume for Halloween. Ingrid remarks that Eve likes to complain.

Raymond struggles with taking off the costume and Eve mocks him. He makes a remark about her and changes it to witch. Raymond says she can have a witch costume. Carlos, the manager, enters the store and lays down the law for his employees. Customers flood into the store for the late night day before Halloween sale. Raymond is complimenting three girls dressed in Wizard of Oz costumes of the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and Tin Man. Eve rolls her eyes carrying a load of costumes. The hectic day flashes by in a series of panels with Raymond telling Eve to see Carlos with a devil mask. Eve goes all Halloween Grinch and Carlos volunteers her to clean up the store after hours. Eve is almost teary eyed (great artwork) as Raymond tries to apologize. Eve is busy cleaning up the store and ends up in the back room talking to the mannequin with the jester costume next to a mannequin in a French Revolution costume. Eve gets into a witch costume which looks like a nod to Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother complete with striped leggings and purple witch hat. She looks at herself in the mirror when a ghostly voice says, “You look lovely.”

Eve runs into the store, but finding no one there, goes back to hauling in costumes including holding a clown mask with her teeth. The mask starts talking to her and she spits it out. A devil’s trident wielded by a devil appears later called Diablo and says that Eve’s mask is not good. She slams back into the wall and the jester mannequin starts talking to her and tells her to ignore the devil. The jester tells her to choose and the devil’s head appears through a curtain scaring Eve into a mirror Alice in Wonderland-style. She appears through a curtain and slumps into the hand chair. The giant eye on the floor distorts and the hand chair turns into a faceless giant ape whom the jester mannequin calls Kongster. The hand throws her into a Halloween party. There is a vampire, a guy who looks like Tawny Tawny from Shazam, a Robocop, and a Tarzan. A knight in armor uses an ax to smash a pumpkin that sends Eve screaming, “Is everyone here insane except for me?!” This is seen in a full page that is rich with detail. A pumpkin starts to talk to Eve next to a Halloween tree on a checkerboard land called Halloweenland by the jester mannequin.

The pumpkin’s head is bonked by a knight’s ax. This is a knight astride a horse and the helmet is removed to show an elegantly styled blond hair of Ingrid. The pumpkin says what’s important is underneath the mask. His head explodes and Diablo re-appears. Eve has broken the rules of Halloweenland by keeping her identity. The mannequin is now in the French Revolution costume and Eve confides that guys don’t understand that girls find it scary to look in a mirror. Eve holds up a masquerade mask to look in the mirror and says, “Fits just right.” She wakens in the store to see Raymond dressed in the French Revolution outfit as Eve realizes she is in a Dorothy costume. Carlos is in a devil costume and Bernardo is dressed as a pumpkin. All of their characters in Halloweenland. Eve says she has a dream and that they were in it just like the 1939 MGM musical. Eve happily puts on the masquerade mask and at the Halloween party wishes everyone a Happy Halloween. Her Grinch heart has grown three times larger. She tells Raymond that it is easier to be herself in a costume. Eve removes her mask to kiss Raymond. Absolute fun except I hope there are more issues like Christmas Eve.