In a nutshell, Night of the Ghoul is a horror story wrapped up in a noir thriller about one man’s quest to learn the truth about what happened to “the greatest horror movie of the era.” Meeting the long-lost director of the film about the eponymous ghoul, he begins to learn about the horrors of the past, as well as the precarious nature of his present, and the doom of his future. As far as age appropriateness goes, this issue fell in that X-Files/Twilight Zone-kinda area, so use your own discretion.
Previously, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: With Willow buckling under the weight of the Slayer mandate and spiraling out of control, Buffy was beginning to doubt the strength of their friendship and her place in the team. Meanwhile, Xander was still doing… something with Spike, so that could be bad?
Firstly, the name R.L. Stine needs no real introduction. His is a name that’s synonymous with the young adult horror genre that just about every Gen X and Millennial kid read, and his works spanned from more kid-friendly fare (e.g., Goosebumps and The Ghosts of Fear Street) to his scarier and gorier Fear Street series. His works have been adapted into TV shows and movies. The man is a legend. Which is why it was hard to pass up the chance to check out his latest foray into the macabre, a new title published by BOOM! Studios, aptly titled Stuff of Nightmares.
Quick catch-up with the crew: The Serenity crew was split up, with Simon, Inara, and Leonard guarding the monastery on Requiem while the rest of the group checking out a strange ship. After narrowly escaping being blown up by some magnetic bombs, Kaylee, Mal, Zoe, and Jayne discover an Alliance portal on the ship, which begs the questions “why?” and “what for?”
Previously: While the Arthurs were still vying for the claim to the Sword in the Stone to legitimize their claim to England, the gang freed Lear. With the passage of a year and a day since Rose struck off the head of the Green Knight, well, old promises must be kept and paid in full. Meanwhile, Duncan and Bridgette headed off to complete Operation Lethe.
Well, apparently even a lunch amongst friends can get pretty messy if you live in Sunnydale. A lesson that Buffy, Willow, and Faith quickly learned when they encountered some kinda pasta demon… yes, pasta demon. Let that sink in. It’s got a bit of that silly vibe that the occasional monster-of-the-week episodes had.
What is it? Two stories set in vastly different time periods in which the crew encounter an existential crisis grounded in spirituality. In Part 1, Shepherd Book encounters an entity from his past and must confront it in order to save the day. In Part 2, set in the “Brand New ‘Verse” timeline, echoes of Book’s past come back to haunt the crew in unexpected ways. Fans of Joss Whedon’s other work may recognize a familiar prayer for peace that serves as a throughline through both stories.
Well, the Serenity is covered in magnetic bombs and… yeah, that’s where we’re at. Oh, and apparently trying to pry them off will result in detonation. So, ya know, mid-level stakes with this crew, right?
In the final issue of this series, the gang is faced with overwhelming odds against them. While some losses are incurred, they gain a surprising ally in their fight that may help turn the tide a bit.
Previously: With the passing of Galahad, despite her best efforts to save her son, Mary has had it with this story and better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. While teaming up with her mother may not have been in her plans before, a Mary and Bridgette coalition could be pretty terrifying.