Haunt You to the End #1: First Mars, Then the Afterlife

Very topical.

In conversations with a friend, we discussed our three wishes in a hypothetical scenario where a genie appeared. My first two were easy, but the third took me a while. I ended up with: “getting details and proof of how the afterlife works.” My train of thought was to have a way of uniting humanity, choosing something that we all experience: death. If people knew how life would end, maybe we would stop fighting about who knows best and how we need to behave to achieve a ticket to a better afterlife.

Despite the many routes this discussion could take, and whether it was a good or bad wish (spoiler alert, it wasn’t as good as I thought), the curiosity about what comes next is something that all humans have in common and unites rich, poor, tall, short, people who like the MCU, people who like the Snyderverse, and everyone in between. You may fear death, you may embrace it, or you may ignore it, but it’s something that we think about daily. Even from a survival and purely instinctive perspective, we avoid death and fight to live.

Haunt You to the End #1 by Ryan Cady, Andrea Mutti, and Frank Cvetkovic goes into this topic, showing a near future where climate change is critical, and the world is suffering its consequences. Still, the rich have continued accumulating wealth (shocking, I know). One of them, Callum Shah, wants to lead a project in the most haunted place on Earth, as he wants to prove that ghosts exist and with it, that there’s an afterlife.

Haunt You to the End

The book plays with the idea of the afterlife as a haven: in a world where everything has gone wrong, getting another opportunity sounds like a great escape for the people living on this version of Earth. This is an exciting premise that, like other works that have discussed this, needs to be addressed carefully because, as there’s no answer, and there probably won’t ever be, it’s hard to convince the reader that your version of discovering an afterlife is worth it. While Issue #1 doesn’t tackle it directly, the series will take that route.

In addition, Haunt You to the End displays the power of the rich when left unsupervised and how they behave as saviors to a dying world. Including a critique of capitalism in a book about ghosts was unexpected but feels appropriate, as the whole motivation behind the discovery is for the rich to be one step ahead. We can see similar stuff in the real world where the rich want to discover more about outer space or the ocean’s depths, so it doesn’t feel fantastic that their next destination is other dimensions, such as a hypothetical ghost world.

Art is essential to get us there when discussing ghosts and grim scenarios. Mutti does an excellent job with the art and colors, predominantly shades of blue and gray, to portray a sad and dark environment and highlight the bright reds and yellows to add shock value. The whole book feels dystopian and dark, which creates a tense atmosphere.

Finally, Haunt You to the End it’s an excellent book for new readers as it touches on important topics creatively, combining fantasy and relevant themes, a perfect way to show the range of comic books. In that sense, it’s a great debut that sets a big mystery and makes you wonder what comes next.

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