Review: Hoax Hunters #0 / Written by: Michael Moreci, Steve Seeley / Illustrated by: J M Ringuet / Published by: Image Comics / Release date: March 21st
Originally appearing as back-up strips in Hack/Slash, Hoax Hunters will be launched as a series by Image Comics in April this year with a new artist, so in preparation the creators have collected all existing strips and bundled them with new material as Hoax Hunters issue zero.
Reading very much like an earnest, Planetary-style excursion into the realms of the supernatural, paranormal and cryptozoological, Hoax Hunters follows the adventures of a reality TV show theme that report on unexplained phenomena. Without wanting to divulge all of the plot there’s a device at play that makes Hoax Hunters read more like Hack/Slash than it does the X-Files, a uniquely powered team that know more about the mysteries of the world than they’re letting on. While the art team is due to change from issue number one the illustrations here are handled ably by J M Ringuet, who reminds me of a young Tony Moore. There’s a motif of crows that recurs throughout the issue that’s visually very satisfying and one of many small touches hinting at the potential for future issues of Hoax Hunters. Considering that issue zero was originally told piecemeal as a back-up story it holds up surprisingly well, but I’m definitely going to be looking for deeper characterisation in future issues.
It feels like lazy journalism to make this comparison, but if you’re looking for a comic that does for paranormal research what Hack/Slash did for horror then Hoax Hunters is going to be the series for you. There’s enough potential in the TV show angle to carry a compelling monthly series and enough genuine creativity to breathe life into a lot of existing urban legends and conspiracies. Let’s hope the creative team get a chance to show the world what they’re made of, because I seriously want to read what they make of a new character introduced at the end of this zero issue.