Spontaneous

Spontaneous - Joe Harris, Brett Weldele I wanted to love "Spontaneous" a little more than what I did for the intrigue of the story as well as the dark style of the artwork. It feels like an X-Files or Twilight Zone story except that the twist doesn't feel that genuine and it somewhat stumbles forward in its execution towards the end after the aforementioned twist. I loved the narrative style, I loved the artwork, I didn't love the story in its collective considerations."Spontaneous" is a sci-fi/horror graphic novel that centers on "Kelvin" Melvin Reyes, a teen investigating the cause of his father's mysterious death by human combustion several years ago, one that also severely injured his mother as well. Little is known about what's causing the people around Melvin's hometown to combust, but as he teams up with an assertive reporter named Emily, he realizes the truth may be closer than he thinks, with horrendous consequences. It has much to do with an explosion that occurred at a local plant and affected the workers involved in that plant and their families. But Melvin realizes that he may also be fighting off a dark influence linked to that disaster as well.The set up at the beginning of this graphic novel was really strong, and had me invested in both Melvin and Emily's plights. Granted, Melvin's a bit of a quiet sort who seems to be fighting off his own inner demons, but he still seems like the kind of hero worth following in the beginning. As the events of the novel come to pass, including the twist - it gets a little muddled, because I suspected up to a certain point how the plot would move, but I wondered how they would tie it in. While some of the explanation given behind the combustions was plausible, I lost investment with the forced love interest turn and the last stretch of events in the comic, including the manhunt scenario. It just felt a bit too overblown for the scope of the story. Still, I don't regret reading it, and I did like the story up to a certain point. I would recommend it for those who don't mind reading an interesting supernatural/murder-mystery story, but I would say not to expect too much going into it.Overall score: 2.5/5Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Oni Press.