Comic Book / Haunt

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/haunt_001.jpg
I know what you're thinking. No, he's not Flash Thompson.

Haunt is a Comic Book telling the story of lovelorn Catholic Priest Daniel Kilgore, whose dreary life in New York City takes a dangerous turn after being contacted and followed around by the ghost of CIA agent Kurt Kilgore, his estranged older brother. The character first appeared in ĎíHaunt #1íí (July 2009), created by Todd McFarlane.

After his death as a result of botching a mission to retrieve information about a supersoldier experiment in Bolivia, Kurt Kilgore comes back as a specter anchored to his brother, Daniel Kilgore, who can combine with his brother through physical contact to transform into a '90s Anti-Hero with dangerous living costume powers and enhanced combat skills. Unfortunately for Daniel, his brotherís clandestine and dangerous life as a CIA field agent has garnered enemies to gather at his doorstop in addition to the fact his personal life is in tatters due to angst over Kurt seducing and marrying Danielís former girlfriend, Amanda Kilgore, and his strained relationship with prostitute named Autumn that operates as Charity.

Daniel becomes embroiled in a life of espionage and secrets as he later becomes inducted by the CIA HQ that Kurt was a part of before his death and acts as an agent to complete dangerous missions in order to uncover the answers that resulted in his brotherís death and the machinations of dangerous weapons broker, Mr. Hurg. Along the way he encounters a variety of mysterious organizations and dangerous individuals like the assassin Cobra, the mysterious Alegria, and the sultry Mirage.

The story later suffers from a Snap Back as Daniel later finds the CIA base where he was hired inexplicably abandoned and cleared and is later captured by the dangerous and influential Second Church led by the sinister Deacon Larkin. To make matters worse, his brother Kurt has grown increasingly psychotic and dangerous after murdering Danielís prostitute girlfriend. He is freed and befriended by the eccentric Still Harvey Tubman and embarks on another journey to combat the various supernatural dangers that have come to threaten New York City. The series has made some continuation into the Spawn comic verse for reasons unknown.

The comic was created after a confrontation during a Q&A session at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con, where McFarlane called on Robert Kirkman, who was seated in the audience. Kirkman stood up and expressed that he was a fan, and wanted to know why McFarlane didn't work on comics anymore. After exchanging jokes, Todd asked Kirkman if he would be interested in collaborating on a project, to which Kirkman agreed. The series has been under hiatus for four years due to schedule delays that Todd admitted to being responsible for.

Tropes this character is famous for:

  • Accidental Murder: Danielís accidental dismemberment of Autumn while being controlled by Kurt in a blood frenzy
  • Affably Evil: Mr. Hurg is thoroughly polite and courteous to those who prove helpful to him in addition to enemies.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Kurt is this to Daniel and is probably one of the worst examples ever written. Heís shown as a ruthless and brutal CIA agent who coldly kills whoever his organization tells him to while failing to divulge it to his wife, who happened to be the ex-girlfriend of Daniel who he had in affair with while Daniel and she were together. He then spends his time confessing to Daniel in his church to alleviate some of the guilt he feels during missions. Not to mention his implied history of bullying towards Daniel while they were youths.
  • Anti-Hero: Kurt and Daniel are somewhere between Unscrupulous Hero and Nominal Hero. Depending on the Writer. Kurt has become more a Sociopathic Hero as of late in addition to becoming AxCrazy.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Alegria was implied to have done this after she managed to get consumed by The Apparition in Kurt's stead.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Daniel becomes a CIA field agent who engages in field operations in conjunction with his brother, who oscillates between well-meaning but brutal to downright careless and vicious. The enemies he fights generally range from bloodthirsty brutes to world-ending maniacs.
  • Brains and Bondage: Mirage's influential informant, Whisper, was found in Mexico riding and whipping a woman dressed as a horse-like gimp.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Still Harvey once encountered a crime bossí Haunt who happened to be the bossí sister who died while they were having sex.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Numerous examples against Daniel which ends up bad for the bully.
  • Cain and Abel: Daniel is the Abel to Kurtís Cain.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Danielís powers have a price Ė He cannot be bonded to his brother in suit form for too long or his life energy will be drained completely, immediately killing him.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Mr. Hurg's diet and clean living seem to grant him greater strength and durability than the average person. Though his survival from being smashed through window and falling many stories from a skyscraper with only minor injuries leaves some debate.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Shillingerís Notebook ends up being a pivotal item that culminates in Kurtís death and much of the conflict in the first portion of the story.
  • Contract on the Hitman: Happens to Cobra after he tries to assassinate Mr. Hurg
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Amanda does this to cope with the pain of Kurtís death In addition to finding out his secret life as a dangerous CIA field agent and infidelity with Mirage.
  • Crossover: Haunt had a couple of crossovers with the Jim Downings version of Spawn due to inhabiting the same verse.
  • Cuckold: The foundation of Danielís falling out with Kurt is his past affair with Amanda which later resulted in her leaving Daniel to marry Kurt.
  • Dark Action Girl: Mirage
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Haunt. Though it depends on who is in charge of the suit.
  • Darker and Edgier: After Issue #19, the series took a horrifically dark turn.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kurt.
  • Disposable Sex Worker / Speak Ill of the Dead: Kurt casually writes off Autumn's death as a "whore who got caught in the crossfire" and the investigation of her dead is quickly put to rest by the police.
  • Doom Magnet: Daniel is this much to his chagrin.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Cobra is a blood-crazed assassin, but he deeply cares for his wife, Jenna. Who happens to be more depraved than he is and finds his murderous habits attractive. Mr. Hurg deeply cares for the women who work as his secretaries and lovers, and was truly distraught when one of them was injured in a fight against Haunt.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a ruthless CIA field agent, Kurt was utterly repulsed by the results of Shillinger's experiments on human test subjects and decided to free and protect the subjects before killing Shillinger. The act of killing Shillinger later resulted in his death.
  • Evil All Along: Assistant Direct Theresa Rhodes is a double agent for Mr. Hurg.
  • Expy: Haunt is more or less Venom (another McFarlane creation) with supernatural powers, topped off with an inverted white and black color scheme
    • Even though McFarlane has claimed to be Venom's creator in the past, the character was the result of many writers, editors, and at least one other artist (Mike Zeck, the designer of the black costume that Venom would later wear). McFarlane's influence was limited to Venom's famous grin and the name only.
    • Mr. Hurg is pretty similar to Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin.
  • Gothic Punk
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Haunt has glowing white eyes while the suit is active.
  • Healing Factor: Haunt has this to allow to heal from the injuries he picks up from many incidents.
  • Heartbroken Badass: BIG TIME. Poor Daniel.
  • Heroic Host: Daniel himself, once he discovers he contains Kurtís spirit inside him.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Autumn Katherine Mueller (aka Charity) was this to Daniel.
  • Horrifying Hero: Haunt is a Humanoid Abomination. What did you expect?
  • Hot Witch / Miss Exposition: Alegria acts as this for Daniel and informs him of the supernatural nature of his relationship with Kurt and The Apparition,
  • The Juggernaut: The Apparition is this. Itís a spiritual force that prevents the unnatural presence of ďHauntsĒ from lingering in the mortal world by erasing the Haunt and the person they are tethered from existence.
  • Last of His Kind: Still Harvey Tubman is the last of the Conductors, a group of individuals capable of peacefully sending off Haunts into the afterlife, and finds it his duty to continue his role until he can find a successor.
  • Mad Scientist: Doctor Shillinger. To the point where he decided to extend his research on cadavers to live subjects including human children, resulting in cancerous Body Horror effects.
  • Military Superhero: Haunt became this after he was inducted by the CIA.
  • Motor Mouth: Agent Scott Groves.
  • '90s Anti-Hero: Actually played with. Haunt is ruthless, yeah, but he's a fair bit more complex than that, especially in the latter part of the comics due to being an originally benign priest tangled with the affairs of his sordid brother.
  • One-Winged Angel: Haunt transforms into the huge, demonic monster if he is overtaken by Kurtís malevolence.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: In this verse, ghosts that do not pass on after living their temporary imprint can become tethered by blood relations or strong emotional connections to form a barrier between the living realm and the afterlife. These unnatural ghosts known as ďHauntsĒ stay tethered to the person whose connection with them was strongest and tag along until they person is dead, theyíre able to be forcefully passed on, or until their erased by the Apparition.
  • Powers Do the Fighting: Daniel can do this by letting Kurt take control, but his powers are Cast from Lifespan, so he usually either tends to be mindful how long he does this.
  • Psycho for Hire: Cobra. He became an assassin just so he could stab people instead of money, which his wife already has plenty of.
  • Religion of Evil: The Second Church is this. Complete with their nihilistic sacred text, The Burning Bible, containing 77 books complete with their own dark saints (e.g. Terminus, Nekron, Abyssius, Benedix, Eramus, Jaxon, Gattika, Mechedda, etc.)
  • Scars Are Forever: Cobra's face was mutilated during a fight with Haunt, giving him the permanent look of a snake after reconstruction surgery.
  • Straight Edge Evil: Mr. Hurg plays this trope straight. He refuses to engage in any habits of consuming processed foods or vices and frequently expresses concern over diet, healthy living, and keeping oneself fit. Though he does in engage in many sexual affairs with his personal assistants. He also engages in Cold-Blooded Torture when he gets the urge and is not afraid to kill with his bare hands.
  • Super Soldier: The Shillinger Drones are this. Due to Schillingerís research in excess cell growth, the soldiers possess enhanced strength, increased durability that can withstand low-caliber bullets and intense bursts of heat, and increased endurance. However, they do have limited mental capabilities and can only follow simple orders and direction.
  • Sanity Slippage: Itís implied Kurtís continued existence as a spirit is slowly driving him insane.
  • The Symbiote: Danielís ectoplasm suit. It acts on its own according to Kurtís will and cannot be removed unless Kurt chooses to separate from Daniel or Daniel is knocked unconscious to get rid of it. As revealed in issue #16, the suit is actually the immediate stage of the Hauntís process of consuming their hostís life energy and becoming a living being once more at the cost of killing the host. The reason it hasnít killed Daniel already is because his life energy replenishes during the times heís not wearing the suit.
    • Combat Tentacles: Danielís suit can generate these to block bullets and slice through opponents like a hot knife through butter. The tentacles are a defense mechanism for the Haunt to prevent their removal from their host in the most practical way.
  • Trickster Mentor: Tubman acts as this to Daniel and Kurt for the second half of the story.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mirage's theft of Shillinger's notebook ended up resulting in Kurt's death because the individuals who were looking for the notebook killed Kurt under the suspicion he was harboring it.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Kurtís tendency to do this causes much of the conflict in the story. Kurt cheated with Amanda while she was together with his brother, while later cheating on her with Assistant Director of his Agency, Beth Tosh, and Mirage. Amanda admitted it had not been the first he had been caught cheating on her and that she was also guilty of doing so with Daniel. He later admitted to loving Mirage more than Amanda and planned to skip town with her after his last mission.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The CIA HQ staff inexplicably disappear after Issue #18 and are never mentioned again until Agent Groves decides to give Daniel an ambiguous call.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ComicBook/Haunt