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Monday, March 21, 2016

Reapers. Issue 2. JoJo King (Writer), Adrian (Art),Lou Frontier (Letters) Insane Comics (2016)

Nicely completing the set up, this issue sets the stage for the main story to unroll in an engaging and unexpected way. After a nasty encounter at the house continued from the first issue, Mary, and Violet head off one way and Victor goes another. Both end up with considerably more trouble than they expected and it is clear that the stakes for everyone have been raised considerably.
What is particularly engaging about this issue is the smart story choice that JoJo King makes about the events that involve Victor and the two women. Victor's troubles are well set up by not hugely surprising, they follow on both from the first issue and a more general comics storytelling. They are necessary to set up what is to come, well done and to an extent exactly what should happen.
The much more intriguing events involve Mary and in particular,Violet as she returns to some unfinished business to find that business has not finished with her either. The business is effectively nasty, the engaging part is the way that Violet comes out from her protective anger and the reader gets to see the real character. Violet has been beaten down to literal death, come back and is finally finding her own life, Mary proves that she is no pushover, friendship has meaning. The emotional context for the action is very strong and gives the whole episode a considerable force and feeling that draws in the reader. When Victor reappears and is clearly ready to make life considerably more difficult for Violet and Mary, the reader has been give a proper introduction to them and now the situation has much more scope than a very enjoyable supernatural action story.
Adrian9's art is bleak and scratchy, there is always much more left out than put in. The big fight with the Grim Reapers is nicely done, it is a little stiff at times. The events in the house where Violet and Mary meet someone very unpleasant are superb. The tone of the events is overlaid by Violet's anger, fear,determination and pain.  The action does not hide the malignant atmosphere that is the real problem and that is a considerable achievement. Adrian9 brings the action and never looses the impact of both the past and the present.
Lou Frontier's letters have a lot of work to do, there is a surprising amount of words in the comic, surprising because the lettering makes them easy and natural to read, the art gives them context and all of it work very well together. The letters quietly and effectively sit in the panels, without drawing attention to themselves. I particularly the stabbing sound effect.
The issue does considerable heavy lifting and makes it look easy, the introductions have been done, the main event can start and I am greatly looking forward to it.
Chief Wizard Note:  This is a review copy very kindly sent by JoJo King. To get a copy of Reapers 2,  and you should reading good comics is scientifically proven to be good for your health, you can get it from www.insanecomics.com.

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