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by yo go re

Let's learn about a character nobody knows!

Daniel Kilgore is a well-known priest and brother of the secret agent Kurt Kilgore. After his brother is killed he begins seeing his ghost but when Kurt's widow is attacked the two merge and become the super powered Haunt, a being capable of controlling ectoplasm.

Created by Todd McFarlane and Robert Kirkman, Haunt was basically "what if Spawn, but even more Spider-Man?" Naming a character after Kurt Vonnegut's character Kilgore Trout seems way more like a Kirkman affectation than something Todd would have come up with, but the "we copied Brother Voodoo's origin" thing really could have been either of them. The book ran for a year and a half, then got a new creative team that was reportedly not good at all, and then the character just sort of became a Spawn supporting character.

Haunt (technically "a" Haunt, since this merging is apparently a thing that happens to multiple people at multiple times) is not wearing a costume, but is instead covered in ectoplasm, which swirls over him and protects him from harm. Yes, Todd has basically re-created Venom once again, just designing the character from a 2007 perspective rather than a 1988 one. Todd McFarlane makes Venoms the way evolution makes crabs. Brockinization.

Instead of a black body with a big white symbol on the chest, this latest McFarlane version of Venom has a black body with white on extremities and the head/shoulder area... plus a big white symbol on the chest. Haunt's entire body is rough and texture-y, rather than smooth. It looks like he's been rolling around in cobwebs or something. While his face is mostly concealed behind a fairly scary face (angular markings around the eyes, large fangs), for some reason he felt it's okay to leave his bare human jaw exposed. Better hope nobody punches or shoots you there, Dan! The fact that he's just got nasal slits instead of a nose is interesting; where does the nose go when he's symbioted ectoplasmed up?

The figure has winding tendrils of ectoplasm swirling around his wrists and ankles, and alternate hands with more lines coming off of them. The hands have sharp claws, but Haunt also has super strength, increased agility, the ability to stick to walls, he can shoot white lines out of his hands... original character do not steal. Oh, he can also form spikes and blades from his suit? At last, something new and unique! His other accessories are a bloop of webs ghost goo that can sit on the floor like a base for him, and a long one that can shoot off his hand. Original character do not steal.

The Heck-tacular Haunt-er-Man shows off his agility with a balljointed neck, balljointed pecs with a ring between the chest and the arm, hinged shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge/swivel wrists, a balljointed chest, balljointed waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel/hinge/swivel ankles, and hinged toes. That's all pretty good, but the rings are fully white, when the rest of the body is doing the white-to-black fade in that same area. So if you do move the arms wildly, that's going to be easy to see.

Haunt was not a big-selling book, because nothing Spawn was a big seller at the time. But it's written by the Walking Dead guy, drawn by the Invinicible guy over layouts by Greg "I'm now the definitive Batman artist of an entire decade" Capullo, with Todd McFarlane doing inks. That should have been a superstar lineup, but it was just bad timing. Or maybe it was a derivative character who people didn't connect with, because '90s throwbacks weren't hot at the time. This is a decent figure, though, and makes him seem cooler than he is.

-- 07/30/22

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