Comic Book Review – Hallows Eve #1

Hallows Eve #1 

Writer – Erica Shultz 

Artist – Michael Dowling 

Dark Web was mini-crossover between Spider-Man and the X-Men that saw the clones of Peter Parker and Jean Grey (Ben Reilly/Chasm and Maddie Pryor/Goblin Queen) teaming up to right wrongs that were committed against them. During the course of the crossover, The Goblin Queen transformed Ben’s girlfriend, Janine Godbe, into Hallows Eve.  Janine has a bottomless bag of masks that give her the abilities and powers of whichever visage she adorns. 

This issue finds Janine on the lam from the police. She tries to stay one step ahead of them, while planning a way to save Ben from imprisonment in Limbo. During a bank robbery, she uses a werewolf mask to face off against a security guard. Janine injures the man but she leaves abruptly after he pleads for his life. The sudden appearance of a werewolf on the streets of New York City attracts the attention of both the NYPD and Maxine Danger, head of Beyond Corp. Maxine would like to add this newfound werewolf to her growing arsenal of monstrosities. Janine and Maxine are headed for a collision course! Janine will need to rectify the mistake she made during the bank robbery, as the chickens always come home to roost… or.…wait….as an innocent man barks at the moon. 

You may have seen this one at your local comic shop and passed on it but I was eagerly waiting its release on new comic book day. Hallow Eves’ power set is pretty damn cool and I wanted to see how she would make her mark on the Marvel Universe. The title page does a great job explaining Janine’s past with Maxine and Beyond Corp and her origin during Dark Web, especially if you haven’t been keeping up with Amazing Spider-Man in recent years. 

In my recent Batman and Robin review, I spoke about how a majority of DC Comics focus on the Caped Crusader. Marvel Comics is starting to have the same issue with Spider-Man. There have been a lot of Spidey spinoff books recently and if you haven’t been keeping up with ASM, you’ll likely pass on these. This is why I decided to review this comic – to give it the spotlight it deserves. In the blurb on Previews, it says that Hallows Eve is getting her own series. I’m not sure if it’s an ongoing or if it’s a mini-series but I have that gut feeling that this title will eventually get cancelled if it’s an ongoing series. 

Why should you pick up this first issue? If you are a fan of horror/supernatural stories, this is definitely in your wheelhouse. Michael Dowling’s art is incredible and suited for this series. There is a single page of Janine in her werewolf persona that is beautifully rendered – both scary and scintillating. Janine, mainly seen as just the love interest of Ben Reilly, is a strong character in her own right that deserves to step out of Ben’s shadow and get a chance to shine. She butted heads with Maxine when Ben worked for Beyond Corp and it’s only a matter of time before these two tussle once more. For most of Janine’s life, the system wronged her in so many ways and she’s not going to let that happen to her anymore. She is taking control of her life, and nothing will stand in her way. 

I have already pre-ordered the next two issues of the series and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. Here’s the solicitation for Issue 2 – “Like most of her life, every step forward for Hallows Eve leads to five steps back. Her mystical masks give her abilities like you’ve never seen, but power on this level attracts all kinds of people hunting it down. Don’t miss the coolest new character in comics and the book that will shock you and keep you guessing!” In Stores April 12, 2023