REVIEW: ‘Home Sick Pilots,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Home Sick Pilots #3 - But Why Tho?Home Sick Pilots #3 is written by Dan Watters, illustrated and colored by Caspar Wijngaard, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, designed by Tom Mueller, and published by Image Comics. Following the second issue, Buzz and Rip find themselves at a crossroads when it comes to Ami. Buzz wants to continue searching for her, while Rip is convinced she’s truly dead. Meanwhile, Ami continues to track down lost spirits from the old James House, encountering a new menace in the process.

This issue takes a different approach than the previous issues, fleshing out its universe and switching mainly to the perspective of Buzz and Rip for the first half of the issue. Watters has been handling issues of grief and death with immense grace, and he continues to do so with the other members of the Home Sick Pilots. People handle grief in different ways; some dig deep into denial, while others try to move on. Buzz fits into the former category (although the audience will know that his belief that Ami is alive isn’t entirely unfounded) and Rip the latter, which drives a wedge between the two friends. And unlike other stories, the conflict here feels organic instead of forced.

Watters does introduce some new concepts into the mix, including a new monster that is not a ghost and a hint at potential trouble in the Pilots’ future. These elements are fairly intriguing, though I’m honestly more interested in the emotional elements in the beginning. I wouldn’t have minded if the new monsters were saved for another issue—and this is coming from a guy who’s way into ghost fights.

On the art side, Wijngaard continues to provide eye-poppingly amazing artwork and pairs it with bright colors including pinks and blues. Ami herself gets a redesign, trading her leather jacket and combat boots for a dress and a hairstyle that feels reminiscent of Sailor Moon’s. This design continues the series’ trend of wearing its anime influences on its sleeve—a trend that I am more than happy to see continue. Another small shoutout comes in the form of an action figure which bears more than a slight resemblance to Gypsy Danger from Pacific Rim.

Wijngaard also creates some of the most terrifying monsters I’ve ever seen in a horror comic, with fellow Image series Killadelphia being the exception. There’s a body that’s been cut up and placed in a refrigerator, and a ghost that is literally made out of the film of a videotape. Since the ghosts seem to take on the properties of the objects they possess, this more or less gives Watters and Wijngaard free reign to be creative with designs, which could lead to some wickedly inventive nightmare fuel.

Home Sick Pilots #3 explores how people handle grief in different ways while continuing to flesh out its universe with new story developments. Given how the issue ends, Ami may be reunited with one of her friends—and said reunion could turn extremely deadly.

Home Sick Pilots #3 is available wherever comics are sold.

Home Sick Pilots #3
4.5

TL;DR

Home Sick Pilots #3 explores how people handle grief in different ways while continuing to flesh out its universe with new story developments. Given how the issue ends, Ami may be reunited with one of her friends—and said reunion could turn extremely deadly.