My first impression of the concept of “Halloween Eve” was that it had the potential to be a fun, entertaining brand that gets revisited annually, like Paul Dini’s “Jingle Belle” or Jill Thompson’s “Scary Godmother.” When this issue is done, however, that potential seems rather limited. It’s not limited by the creators, but rather by the story itself.
In a time when stories are expanded and contracted based on future projections, pre-orders and the direction of the wind, it’s growing exceedingly difficult to take a risk on new properties, both as a creator and a reader. Luckily, the folks at Image know a good thing when they see one and, combined with Amy Reeder’s own Kickstarter efforts, this comic is able to see the light of day and find its audience. After her efforts on “Madame Xanadu” and “Batwoman,” Reeder carries enough of a reputation into this story that it merits at least a flip through. With a story set among the delusional daydreams of an over-worked costume store clerk, Amy Reeder is let loose to render surreal and fantastic imagery that would make Salvador Dali twirl his mustache with delight. The artwork alone is clean and bright and strong and well worth the price of admission.
The story, however, is unimpressive. Sure, it’s cute and charming, but it lacks a true threat. Eve comes across rather bossy and impersonal from the start, making her unlikeable with a problem the reader can’t get invested in. Eve is so busy judging those around her that she is the perfect candidate to receive the business end of a morality tale. Over the course of the issue, Eve confronts her challenges and emerges from those confrontations a changed person. This is the type of transformation that would fill an episode of a relationship sitcom or run the full duration of a chick flick. It’s not a by-the-numbers tale, but it isn’t groundbreaking by any means. Montclare and Reeder do tuck in a nice homage to “The Wizard of Oz” along the way and even spin that into a chuckle-worthy scene.
Overall, “Halloween Eve” is not something I’m going to re-read again and again, but this is certainly a comic where readers can find some enjoyment and relief from events. Reading it, I found the book to be an odd mix of “Singles” or a “Friends” episode with a decidedly different Halloween twist not unlike “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.”