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Hoax Hunters #10

September 3, 2013

Different. That's the first word that came to mind once i got to the first page of Hoax Hunters #10. With a new artist (T-Rex Jones) coming in i knew that there would be a new look to Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley's Hoax Hunters, but i wasn't expecting such a large shift in the tone of the material also. To this point the description that i've given someone when trying to get them into the series is that it's a reverse X-Files. Rather than searching to expose the truth it is an intentional obfuscation of the truth. That has completely changed with this issue. It's almost as if this is a brand new series.

In issue #0 we saw a glimpse of whom or what Murder is and a taste of his backstory. We've also been told a couple small tidbits about the other characters. For example, we know a little about Jack and that his father is off exploring other dimensions. We also know that Ken's gift/affliction was a result of his research to reanimate his dead wife. However, this is the first time in the series where the main focus of the issue is to really pull back the curtains and learn about a specific character.

In issue #10 we learn quite a bit about Regan's story and her fight with the demon which possesses her. For me Regan has been the character who has held my intrigue the most to this point so i was quite pleased to see more of her story. The flashbacks with her mother were well written and helped to show how much the demonic possession affected not only Regan, but her family. Huge kudos on the writing of these scenes. With that said, there were a couple of panels later on at Hoax Hunters HQ and then between Regan and Donovan where the dialogue seemed very generic in almost an "this is how a guy imagines a girl would react in this situation" sort of way. While i'm sure there are some females out there that might say what Regan said, to me it felt more like something you'd hear in typical Hollywood movie dialogue. This is something that i could say about most forms of entertainment which i enjoy though. It is not something that is egregious and might not be noticed by other people, but it did jar me from the trance that comes from reading a riveting story.

However, as trivial as the dialogue in the scenes above may be i think the biggest asset or liability from this issue is the art. On my initial reading i had a difficult time pulling back who Donovan was as his shape and skin color looked so different. This was most likely due to it being a night scene and perhaps also that the characters were not as fresh in my mind. i can definitely attribute the latter to my confusion as prior to my second reading i revisited all the previous issues and had a few "now that makes sense" moments.

There was one scene though in the issue that there was no confusion on and made me giddy with excitement. It also was also where i said "oh shit" out loud while reading. It was the scene where Murder is first shown in this issue. All i can say about it is, i can't wait to see where that portion of the story is going. It is such an amazing and wonderful moment in the book that everything i mentioned just a few moments ago is rendered nearly forgettable. If a picture is worth 1000 words then that image alone is worth a whole book of trying to describe the awe of that image.

One last panel that i want to reference is when Regan is confronting her demon. That panel is absolutely chilling. Again it is another image that was seared into my brain when reading. It is a perfect panel on an amazing page that shows what Regan is fighting inside while keeping a cool exterior. Horrific, stunning and beautiful it is something that must be seen.

How does issue #10 stack up to issues #0-9 and Case Files #1? Issue #10 is a different beast than everything Hoax Hunters that has come before it. To use the X-Files reference one last time (though i'm sure Mr. Moreci is tired of hearing it), it's like comparing the X-Files to Twin Peaks. Yes, they were both amazing television shows. Yes, they had moments that were creepy as hell. And yes, they both had David Duchovny. However, they are very different in that one is searching for the truth through the cases they are on and the other was exploring the relationships within the universe and the demons within.

So, what is my overall take on Hoax Hunters #10? Is it worth your time and money? As with everything that i've read from Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley, pick this up the day it comes out and then create a hold file at your local comic book store for Hoax Hunters. Then go to Fifth World Studios webpage and pick up the Hoax Hunters volume 1 & 2 and ReincarNATE paperbacks and the Mini Comics Included pack.

You can catch all three of these gents on Twitter.
Michael Moreci
Steve Seeley
T-Rex Jones

The release date for Hoax Hunters #10 is September 4th and is published by Image Comics.