Ahead of catching up with the ethereal-looking Ami and her new supernatural platinum hairdo, in Home Sick Pilots #2, we get a “secret origins” of of the group – who bonded over their mutual love for the Ramones – as well as a brief, bloody look-in to the Psycho inspired haunted house of last issue where Ami’s fellow bandmates are at, perplexed at her sudden disappearance.
Ami is on the hunt for a lucky horseshoe. A very lucky horseshoe indeed, according to its new owner, who is rather reluctant to give it up. Although, as we soon learn and have always known, one should always be careful what they wish for. And a perfect life is never that perfect in these kind of stories now are they? Especially in the context of a horror comic.
This showdown is wrought with emotions in more than one way, in a series of scenes that illustrates Dan Watters’ scripting at its best. Watters is a writer who can deliver on the thrills and danger requisite to such a story as this one one minute, before pivoting his plot and the reader’s perspective at the turn of a page and instil it with a very different emotional effect. This is only further amplified by Caspar Wijngaard’s artwork. In one such set of events in this second issue, Wijngaard contrasts the slick, clean lines and soft neon colourway of the hotel suite in which Ami confronts the horseshoe thief, with a far darker and broody cutaway scene in which the colours and shadow do a lot of the talking. A perfect example of this rollercoaster like approach regarding the readers’ response.
Each setting, each scene comes with its own particular colour palette which helps delineate and separate the various scenes we jump back and forth across in this issue. Although there is more than enough smattering of colours repeated across the book to unify it all too.
As the issue progresses the weirdness builds up too, as Watters mixes up various horror tropes that don’t usually play out this way. Like The Cabin in the Woods, it does not tie itself down to any one particular vein of horror, but takes what it needs to tell a story that is one part haunted house story, one part body-horror, and more. With each new ghost the Home Sick Pilots are going to be busting across this series, Watters and Wijngaard keep this “monster of the month” title fresh and difficult to pin down.
But, lest we forget, this is also a story of teenage friends and punk rock rebellion. A time in everyone’s young adulthood where anything is possible and you shouldn’t trust anyone over the age of 25! While the surviving members of the Home Sick Pilots are currently separated, this is still a character driven story. Something to explore whenever Ami finally gets to reunite with her friends. If they survive that long, that is.
Home Sick Pilots #2 is out Wednesday 13th January from Image Comics
‘Home Sick Pilots’ #2 picks up the action from last issue as Ami tries to recover a cursed horseshoe while her fellow bandmates are left abandoned after their brush with death last issue.