The first arc closes but more questions are raised in Home Sick Pilots #5: ADVANCE REVIEW

Written by: Dan Watters, Art by: Casper Wijngaard, Letters by: Aditya Bidikar.

After the re-evaluation that Meg (the remaining member of the Nuclear Bastards) was in the house all along. We see a struggle for power between Ami and the house. Ami wants to distance herself after all the violence. She now sees the blood on her hands too. Meanwhile, the house wants to keep her around feeling lonely. Now though, there is a threat that terrorises the town and Ami’s friends, her fellow Home Sick Pilots bandmembers. To save everyone, both the house and Ami will need to work together, but what toll will that take on Ami’s mind, and how much damage will the town take?

This has been an intriguing thrill ride since the first issue. Dan Watters has crafted a bizarre and retro book that is perfectly set around the punk synodic scene of the early '90s. The retro vibe has been in for a few years now, although most have settled on the '80s, Watters has based his book later, which was perfect. Although I would have preferred more music throughout the book. I’ve heard of some creators making a Spotify soundtrack to go with their comic. That could work for a series like this, but I like the way that Watchmen handled its use of a ‘soundtrack’. There were either references in quotes of the song or lyrics within the book. This I feel is the only thing that could have raised this series.

That however is a very personal issue that I have. Others may feel it unnecessary. Despite this very minor issue, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the series so far. The writing has been exactly as I thought, in a good way. With a mix of horror elements that finally culminate in a "Power Rangers"-type final issue. The one drawback from a writing perspective is that this final issue in the arc asks more questions than it really answers. I can understand leaving a book on a cliffhanger ending, but to me there should have been more closure for even one of the characters to round off the story as we begin the next arc.

Artistically, the book looks fantastic. Casper Wijngaard’s art I think is the best it’s looked yet. The above panel being a particular favourite of mine, not just of the book, but of comic art. The contrast of pink and white just makes it stand out even more. Add to that the symbolism of what’s going on. Ami has asked the house to help her. She reflects on how bad a friend she has been and wants to rectify the situation by bonding to the house. Sacrificing potentially her life, if not her sanity. As she does this she takes a Christ-like pose, ready to amend for her sins and do what she can to save everyone. We even have the added bonus to reinforce the point, the white cross of light behind her. Such a poignant moment in the story and a beautiful piece of artwork to reinforce it.

Other than that, as I stated, we get what I’ve been waiting for since issue 1. The big monster showdown also didn’t disappoint, although at times in some panels it was hard and slightly confusing to see what’s going on. Perhaps because I don’t think we yet have a full grasp of the potential powers of the monsters. This means that you really have to concentrate on each panel to figure out who’s got the upper hand in the fight. However, this was still magnificently drawn.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I’m hoping that we get some of the answers in the next arc, but even if we don’t, this arc has done enough to establish itself as a well-written and masterfully-drawn book that will be loved by anyone who likes the idea of a mash-up between The Shining and Power Rangers. What more could you ask for in a series?

Home Sick Pilots #5 from Image Comics will be released on 14th April from your local comic shop as well as comixology

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