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It is nice to actually see a successful comic in connection with a celebrity, especially someone who comes across as being as good-natured as Jennifer Love Hewitt. Could this also work for, say, Eliza Dushku or Scarlett Johansson? In Hewitt’s case, she is well-versed in eerie storytelling from her long run on the TV series, “The Ghost Whisperer.” And the IDW comics based on the show are doing well too. As it turns out, “Music Box” just feels right from the get-go and ends up delivering like a good horror comic should.
Hewitt’s idea was to create a spooky series of stories surrounding a supernatural music box in the anthology style of the landmark TV series, “The Twilight Zone.” And, judging by Issue One, they’ve succeeded. Each issue will tell one story, and this is an excellent read. We start with “Details,” a story about a quiet detective who wishes he could stop crimes before they happen. Once he crosses paths with the music box, he gets that wish. The art by Michael Gaydos is appropriately moody for this hard-boiled crime story. Similar in style to Sean Phillips’s work on Ed Brubaker’s noir comics, Gaydos is a little lighter on the brush and provides just the right weight for the characters and pacing.
Scott Lobdell, a two-time Wizard award winner, provides a fast-paced story. The premise and the characters work well, but you sort of wish the action would slow down just a bit. The story delivers a tight yet meaty portrait of the main character, Oliver Kulpalski. Again, Gaydos’s art goes a long way in keeping that balance of giving you all the details you need while moving the story along. He manages to pack a lot of soul into Kulpalski’s NYC world, including some nice, spare panels set on the subway and in Central Park.
“Music Box” is set for a ten-issue run. Each issue will delve into some new aspect of the titular object as it moves from one unsuspecting owner to the next. Overall, it looks like it should be a fun journey.