Written: Dan Watters, Art: Casper Wijngaard, Letters: Aditya Bidikar.
Buzz has merged with the horseshoe to form a beast of his own. The house told him that Ami was in danger, and he knew it’s his duty to save her against the strange VHS ghost that’s not part of the house. He manages to get there to save her, but not in time for the VHS to regroup in a video rental store to get larger. All while a secret organisation is monitoring Ami and the house looking for the ghosts tied to the house. In a moment of panic, the horseshoe regains the form of Ol’ James and takes Ami back to the house where she then encounters a brutal realisation.
In the penultimate issue of the first story arc, we are treated to more intrigue about both the house and now the secret organisation that’s tracking the situation. The writing by Dan Watters has been great and this issue continues the streak. This is setting up what could be a very interesting conclusion.
We finally get more of the “Power Rangers” theme that we have been promised since issue 1. The action was enjoyable, with Buzz getting his horseshoe “suit” and with the oncoming threat of what could be multiple antagonists. The biggest issue I have with the series from a writing perspective so far is that, it’s a '90s book, yet we haven’t leaned into the culture enough. For any writer to set a series within a specific time period, there has to be a reason, even if that reason is to enjoy the pop culture of the time. Here we have a setting that’s '90s but could easily be '80s. With a series that is so focused on the music world, there could have been quotes or even songs playing from that decade. Unless something big happens within the next issue, it feels like a wasted opportunity. Despite that small issue, this series remains to be well written from both character and story point of view with a constant ability to keep the reader guessing about the possible outcomes.
Now this could be my bias towards '80s culture, but this lack of definition of it being set in the '90s seems to go for it within the art department. The colour palette used, to me looks like it’s straight out if the '80s. For any other reader this could be an issue, but for me I love the culture of that decade so I actually enjoy the colours displayed. Even if I’m seeing it “incorrectly”. I have said it before about this book but I continue to enjoy how colourful the series is, when there’s so many books about that are dark in both tone as well as colour.
What Casper Wijngaard does incredibly well is create such beautiful artwork. Two things that are striking to me are his designs with the ghosts and the stunning landscape scenes. The ghosts look like they are straight out of a Guillermo del Toro movie. They are both horrific yet striking in a way that makes them beautifully crafted. They show off the fantastic imagination the creative team have when it comes to this series.
The other is the beautiful landscapes, mostly that are centred around the house. I’ve always been a fan of landscape art, and this is no exception. The way that the light is being played with, creates at first glance a silhouette around the house, something draped in mystery. However when you look closer, you can see the darkness that it holds within itself. It could also be suggesting that on the surface (at the top) there is light, showing off it good intentions, yet below that are the secrets of the darkness, in which it hides it true motivation.
Despite my small issue with the lack of '90s references, I still maintain that this is a beautifully written and drawn book. Giving something for every reader, whether that be, horror, action or adventure. This series has been highly enjoyable and I hope it’s able to cap it off with an equally good arc-ending issue.
Home Sick Pilots issue 4 will be released on 10th March from your local comic shop as well as comixology