This second issue of the four-part limited series focuses on yet another Lovecraftian creature that goes bump in the minds of the partially sane. Instead of the tentacle filled madness of the first issue, we now get a creature that shares a strong resemblance to something that many people already have phobias around. With Halloween looming, this is the perfect book to get you in the mood and it definitely provides the scares.
Starting with the negative, Mina Elwell’s writing can sometimes be confusing such as how it is really unclear how or why Sam has the vision she does early in the issue. This could be an attempt at building the mystery, but just a little bit of exposition would be nice. The wording can be off too making me have to reread the word balloons in a couple of spots. Nothing ruins the story, but it does need to be smoothed out a little more. Eli Powell’s art is generally amazing and really carries the story, but it still has the overshading issue on people’s faces from the first issue. Most of the time it isn’t that big of a problem because it fits the tone and the needed information is still being conveyed; however, there are times that it ruins the moment such as when Sam is screaming and you can’t see how her mouth is open let alone what kind of fearful expression she might have.
With that out-of-the-way, I want to focus on the positives and there are many. The team is superb at building a creepy vibe. The pacing is amazing and the story contains all sorts of little details that keep a sense of unease throughout such as the location being an abandoned insane asylum filled with drained bodies and the storyline focusing on a familial trend of incest. There are many things about the way that the story is told that I just adore with the repetition of Sam’s eye in a panel to itself being a particularly impactful touch. It is also extremely brutal and gory at the end making each creepy moment pay off in a big way. It was nice to see that such dynamic action can provide an emotional punch that is sure to have a huge impact on the rest of this miniseries as well. The creature feature is a big ol’ NOPE that makes a “Ksssssss” sound that pervades panels where we don’t even know what it is yet. Speaking of which, Marshall Dillon once again shows just how important font is. His lettering remains a high point of this series. Tristan Elwell’s colors also deserve a nod as the sicking green pops up at just the right times and keeps the uneasy feeling coming back throughout the issue.
I actually had a hard time reviewing this at first because I reacted so strongly to a couple of pages that I didn’t want to go back and take a closer look. If that’s not a sign of a good horror comic, I don’t know what is. Any fans of Lovecraft or horror in general would love this book and I highly recommend checking it out.
(W) Mina Elwell (A/CA) Eli Powell
Publisher: Scout comics
In Shops: Nov 29, 2017
Diamond Order Code: SEP171866