The second issue of this series from AfterShock Comics, sees things becoming a little clearer for the reader, though darker for the characters involved.
In search of clues to the elusive Wednesday Club, Ray Pilgrim and his daughter start put the pieces together. Also on the trail, albeit from the lawful side of the tracks, are a couple of cops in the shape of Detective Sergeant Semple and her boss Superintendent Deacon, the latter who is seemingly trying to put distance between the situation and the possible validity of the Wednesday Club. As always, when you have two polar opposites the truth of the situation is normally found somewhere in the middle. As the story progresses we get to see some of Ray’s early life as a pre-cognitive force.
Creator and writer David Hine continues to excel in this slow burner of an issue. Those expecting a quick turnaround for Ray will be disappointed and well they should be. Hine’s pacing is exceptional; leaking little bits of Ray’s past that still has an impact on his present; his daughter acting as part of some karmic wish fulfilment of the inability to keep promises made to those he cared about. Now, looking to take a step backwards in order to save an abducted child, Ray has opened himself up to the monsters and demons that stalk him
Alberto Ponticelli provides another great issue. The art captures the tone of the book brilliantly, with a level of realism that seems to becoming a bit of a statement of purpose for AfterShock books. Ponticlli’s work shows, as mentioned in my review for issue one, influences from sources such as the line work of Barry Windsor-Smith and to an extent Frank Bellamy; both are great role models. That’s said, I would like to see Ponticelli improve on some of his faces, which at times can come across as weak in comparison to the work on Ray and his daughter. Colorist John Kalisz provides another great example of how colors can shape not only the comic book world, but also how that tone can be interpreted by the reader.
I can not say enough good things about AfterShock Comics. Their roster of quality of books is impressive. With each book situated in what appears to be their own world, the avenues for prolonged storytelling may falter down the line. However, the publisher seems to be aware of this limitation with new series’ scheduled for April to further their roster of books.