Review: Hoax Hunter #13

I kind of missed out on the last issue of Hoax Hunters for whatever reason, but I took the time to catch up on it before diving into the season finale of the series. I hate to say this, but this issue has as many successes as it does failures. On one hand I’m really interested in the outcome of the issue and a few of the things that transpire to create that outcome. On the other hand a lot of the story feels muddled and convenient at times. The basic plot of the story is that Jack is going to use a dimensional jumper to find his father; before that though we check in with Donovan and Regan who are facing their demon… literally. Regan figures out what she’s up against by using the book that caused all of Donovan’s troubles to begin with. We’re pretty much just left there with no other answers as Donovan and Regan must flee the country before people find out about her. The resolution seemed very fast considering how much time was previously put into this story arc.

The rest of the Hoax Hunters are trying to track down Jack who has begun to travel back to Hauncheyville. We cut to Jack who is already there, now with half of the team in hot pursuit, and find him talking to Borges. Borges warns Jack that he needs to stop doing what he’s doing and that this is his last warning. Now something I didn’t quite understand is that in order to use the device and jump to the last dimension, Jack must destroy all of a species of monsters. In this case it’s Chupacabras. Maybe I missed something, but I don’t know why it had to be all of the Chupacabras. Without spoiling too much, the team is late to the party and Jack should have heeded everyone’s warning.

One of the problems I had with the story was with Donovan and Regan’s arrival. They somehow make it by plane and then car to Hauncheyville when they’re a good hour or two behind the other half of the team and they were already behind Jack by a few hours. I get that they all needed to arrive at the same time for drama, but then a better time line needed to be used. It ends up looking like they just teleported there which killed the sense of them all racing against the clock.

HoaxHunters_13-2My other problem was Donovan. He’s not very Donovany in this issue. I get that his role is changing on the team, but even when he was trying to be a dick he really wasn’t. For a guy that didn’t trust this team with any real information and basically only knows how to manipulate people, he suddenly trusts them all a lot in this issue; enough to give a ton of exposition about Borges and the “faceless” man that he works for and apparently they work for as well.

Now I really enjoyed Jack’s part of the story. Where he ends up as a result of the dimensional jump is interesting. It’s big. It’s the biggest thing to happen in the series and that’s great. But with that also comes some bad. Suddenly I don’t really know anything about this world. Before it was debunking real monsters as fakes so that the world didn’t find out about them, but now it’s like there’s an entire other side of the world. And frankly it seems bigger than what they’re equipped to handle. It’s so big that it also feels like there would be other people involved or aware, but I didn’t get that impression.

Jack’s dad was involved in some heavy shit and we don’t have enough info to be like, “hell yeah.” Instead it’s like, “cool… I guess I’ll have to see what happens.” I want to be more excited; by now this world has crazy dimensions, monsters, demons and beings that have godly powers. If these godly beings are so powerful it only makes the world more confusing.

Our heroes don’t really seem to know or understand what they’re up against and while Donovan might have a clue… that doesn’t mean he’s a match for them either. I mean if he knows how to defeat them then why didn’t he do so and take their place already? We’ll have to see what happens in the next season, but like I said this issue was a double edge sword. I liked where the story went and what happened in the issue for the most part, but it also made me question a lot of the foundation that the story had. I’ll definitely be back for the next season to see what the lay of the land is, but hopefully the series comes back with some answers to the questions it’s created.

Though it’s unusual for me to end a review talking about the art I couldn’t not talk about Christian DiBari’s contribution to the issue. This series has had its ups and downs on the art in my opinion and while I enjoyed T-Rex’s style on the series I think that DiBari might end up being a better fit. I would like some more details in the face, but overall it’s a good style and look for the story. I don’t know if Regan and Ken where captured perfectly, but the rest of the team was pretty spot on.  The settings were better in places and the coloring from Mike Spicer helps the artwork a lot in the issue. It gives it that dark and gloomy feeling especially with the ending.

I know there’s going to be a gap in time while the creative team gets setup for the second season so I don’t know if DiBari is going to be the ongoing artist, but hopefully they’re given more time with the next issue. Overall a strong performance on the artwork and an interesting ending to the first season of the series.

Score: 3/5

Writers: Michael Moreci & Steve Seeley Artist: Christian DiBari Colorist: Mike Spicer Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 1/8/14