By Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham (writers), Luca Rossi and Jill Thompson (artists), Lee Loughridge (colors)
While I appreciate and enjoyed the story presented in this issue, I’ve got to admit I was a bit let down by the lack of “horror” elements. I guess this place can’t be scary all the time. Instead, HoM #2 presents us with a tale of a man who was retrofitted to take trip into the deep. It was a mission of diplomacy, but at its core, the man was a glorified collection agent. The world he delves into is fantastically realized by Jill Thompson as she does some beautiful water color work. And as much as I enjoyed this small tale, I couldn’t help but wonder where all the suspense was.
Later, when the story shifts back to Fig, we get a better understanding of how she found her way into the House, but little is revealed about her ghostly assailants or their motives. And while we do get to see more of the House and learn that Fig can never leave, there’s little story that happens in this sophomoric effort. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind it as much if we got a load of character development (we don’t), and lack of any suspense cripples the book – at least for me. That’s not to say the story is bad, it’s entertaining, for sure, but anyone hoping for some actual horror or mystery may be a bit disappointed.
As for the art, it’s one of the bright points in the book. Jill Thompson’s muted watercolor work is hauntingly beautiful. It’s only a few pages though, so don’t expect too much. Luca Rossi handles art chores for rest of the issue and produces quality that matches the previous issue. In other words, it’s good stuff. The story, however is strictly average at best. And that’s something House of Mystery should never have. (Grade: C)
– J. Montes