Following the wild success of Michael Moreci’s Hoax Hunters #0 issue, Image Comics gave the title the green light as an ongoing series. “Hoax Hunters” follows the members of a paranormal investigation reality TV show on their exploits and encounters with cryptids, monsters, myths, and hoaxes. However, Moreci and Seeley show that the most important events always happen off camera. This is an awesomely satirical book that not only examines our obsession with hoaxes, but also society’s recent obsession with reality television. Issue #1 shows that the creative team has a whole lot of original content brewing in their minds.
WRITTEN BY: Michael Moreci & Steve Seeley
ART BY: Axel Medellin
RELEASE: July 5
The concept for the series is quite smart, and it takes some brain power to understand what’s going on. The series follows a team of paranormal researchers, who happen to have their own TV series in the vein of Ghost Hunters, or any other shows where they use magnetic fields to find ghosts. However, unlike those shows, for the Hoax Hunters the real magic happens once the cameras switches off. The show is an elaborate ruse to keep cryptids hidden from the general public, while in reality, the team has seen it all.
The Hoax Hunters gang may have a reality show, but they are the real deal. Complete with the fearless leader, the psychic girl, their spaceman friend (see issue #0), and some creepy dude who stays behind the scenes. The Hoax Hunters aim to help out the creatures they find, to examine their situation, rather than hunt them down and prove their existence.
Everyone knows how lame reality TV is, how phony it is, and how poorly executed it is. This is exactly what the writing duo takes up, and spins it around into something intelligent. This is not to say “Hoax Hunters” runs deep with philosophical insight. It’s a fun book that happens to examine the current entertainment industry…and monsters.
This issue focuses on the team leader, Jack. As the team explores an anonymous tip in the Louisiana Bayou, Jack immediately senses something the others don’t. Jack has seen this all before, he knows what’s going on, and he’s afraid to the core. The story builds extremely well, and it offers an in depth look at the team leader. It’s incredible how much development they are able to pack into one issue. Moreci has a talent for presenting characters in an empathic light. Seeing Jack in a bar shooting whiskey like nobody’s business makes it easy to understand where he’s at. I’d love to get to know the rest of the team equally well. Right now they all seem to be a bit of mystery, but I can only imagine the writers have plans to explore them in later arcs.
As the issue comes to an end, Jack’s lamenting comes to the forefront as the Honey Island Swamp Monster makes his appearance. The fact that they aren’t just using cyrptids like the Yeti, or Sasquatch, but offering a specific version shows that that neither the creative time, nor the Hoax Hunters take their hoaxes lightly.
What this issue lacks is the melding between reality TV and comic mediums, as we saw in issue #0. There were not enough panels using the camera footage, and not enough delving into the fact that they are still on a reality show. Hopefully, this will come back in subsequent issues. I’m also hoping that there will be more opportunity for artist Axel Medellin to show his monster-drawing chops. He’s clearly got the goods, and just needs to be let loose.
It’s easy to conjure up all kinds of beasts and freaks for the Hoax Hunters to encounter, and being able to imagine the characters in further plotlines is a surefire sign of a great book. It’s hard to tell where the series will go from here, but Image made the right choice in promoting this to a full ongoing series.