Frank and Sadie Doyle, who have a knack for helping people out with their supernatural problems, are investigating the home of Adam Silver, a young man who comes to them with a story of a haunted house. By chance, young married couple Donna and Dave are looking for a home to buy. Coincidence? Only the spooks know for sure! Let’s see what’s up in Thrilling Adventure Hour #2 from BOOM! Studios.
Writers: Ben Acker, Ben Blacker
Artist: MJ Erickson
Cover: Jonathan Case
Editors: Matthew Levin & Cameron Chittock
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Thrilling Adventure Hour: A mysterious crate is shipped from a castle in Switzerland, and a reporter is following a story which skirts the outside of the everyday world we know. But while he follows one way, Frank and Sadie Doyle are entertaining a married couple who are looking for a house, and just have not seen anything they can agree on yet. But when a frantic young man arrives and begs for Frank and Sadie’s help with the haunted house he is living it, they might have found just the place to settle down in. But when the couples are separated while investigating, will they be settling in permanently?
HAVE MARTINI, WILL TRAVEL
As we begin this issue, that mysterious crate is making its way through Switzerland, and is having strange effects on the pilots, like screaming behind eyeballs and desires to skin things. But back in Brooklyn, our intrepid report comes across Adam Silver as he waits outside of his house, the same one Frank, Sadie, Dave, and Donna are investigating for the ghost. When we last left them, the lights had turned off and the gentlemen had been whisked away from the ladies, separating them into different parts of the house. Dave and Frank find themselves in the basement, sadly out of drinks, while Sadie and Donna confront the spirit in the kitchen. Sadie quickly proves to be the more level-headed of the two, and with a confidence born of life amongst the upper crust, proceeds to scold the ghost for the way they are acting. Meanwhile, Frank discovers that Dave is afraid of the dark, but the ghostly form under the sheet sitting in the basement may have frightened him more. Before long, the two couples reunite and they not only conjure the ghost but uncover a murder. But who is the murderer and what connection does the intrepid reporter have to all of this? But most importantly, will Frank be able to make a proper martini with the items in the bar?
HIGH SOCIETY AND DARK SECRETS
Ben Acker (Beyond Belief!, Deadpool V Gambit) and Ben Blacker (Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, Wolverine: Savage Origins) have a history with the supernatural. That is to say, they joined the writing team of televisions “Supernatural” back in the seventh season. But that isn’t what makes their writing of Thrilling Adventure Hour so interesting. It’s the fact that it is based on a live-action radio drama that they had created and transformed into comic book form. This accounts for the beats in their writing and the attitudes of the main characters. Frank Doyle is an ex-exorcist turned medium and affirmed drunk who has no interest whatsoever in helping people with their problems. However, his wife, Sadie Doyle, is a socialite, a medium and drunk who is much more willing to assist those who need their help. The two have a very Nick and Nora (see The Thin Man) type of interaction with each other and their clients and seem unflappable in the face of any supernatural accordance. The same cannot be said for their clients. The dialogue in the book reads with the meter and flow of classic radio, which is likely because the live stage is where the characters originated. I can hear William Powell and Myrna Loy in my head as they deliver the lines. They are smooth and suave and hit this OTR fan’s heart dead center. The story runs smoothly and showcases the calmness with which the two conduct themselves, even when confronted with the most bizarre circumstances.
The art by MJ Erickson (Circadia, Heart of Iron) has a deceptively simple style. The lines are clean and smooth, but not in that cookie cutter sort of fashion. She has a steady and devoted hand which produces a distinct look. The Doyles possess and aloofness to them, and she manages to give subtle facial expressions that cement that aloofness in your mind. I enjoyed it, and the near animation style really grabbed me. I dare say I felt I could see a hint of Chuck Jones influence, especially in the eyes and noses. Great work and I look forward to seeing more.
BOTTOM LINE: A GOOD BOOK TAKEN STRAIGHT WITH NO CHASER
Thrilling Adventure Hour began as a podcast of a live stage production recreating the old time radio shows of the past. The transition to comics is seamless and it has a very whimsical feel to it while entertaining you fully. The characters of Frank and Sadie represent an honorable tradition of high class/ low-class couples, and the story itself entertains you and leaves enough questions unanswered to make you eager for the next installment. Great job all around!
Thrilling Adventure Hour #2 brings back the feel of classic old time radio shows to a visual format. It’s one of the best examples I have found of genre mixing, and is a winner. Tune into your local comic shop and hunt down a copy.
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