by Peter Milligan (writer), Davide Gianfelice (art), Patricia Mulvihill (colors), and Clem Robins (letters)
The Story: Eddie gets pulled in with the Fureys, a body goes missing, Lord Menon’s philandering ways come increasingly to light, and a monster stalks the streets.
What’s Good: Davide Gianfelice is the best thing going for this book right now. His artwork is simply gorgeous, animated, and impossible not to love. He has a style all his own, one that is very “cartoony” and affable, and yet paradoxically but undeniably gritty and ugly. It’s a remarkable mix that somehow works and works really, really well. It’s just amazing stuff that just has a really “likable” feel to it, if that makes any sense; likable despite the nasty stuff going on within the panels. His work on the facial expressions is nothing to scoff at either; Eddie’s traumatized expression in the hospital is absolutely haunting
This issue ultimately functions as yet another “stage-setting” book, despite the double-sized first issue. Still, it is somewhat comforting to see Milligan begin to tie all of these disparate characters together, even if we don’t see the results of these connections just yet. At the very least, the isolation of the characters looks to be broken.
I also really enjoyed the use of the stripper(s) as the Chorus. This was one of the neatest recap pages I’ve seen in a book that isn’t Agents of Atlas. It’s really neat having a character break the fourth wall to give us a series recap in “real time.”
Many of the scenes function almost as tableaux and thanks in no small part to Gianfelice’s artwork, they are really beautifully plotted. From Sandy’s balcony dive, to the break-in at the Morgue, to Eddie’s stumbling into the hospital, many of the scenes have a really lyrical, majestic feel to them. They’re incredibly cool sequences with a hint of the surreal.
What’s No So Good: I’m going to come right out and say it: this book doesn’t make any sense. It’s impossible to read this issue without a lingering sense of incomprehension. As for the plot, it’s still murky at best.
While Milligan is showing moves to tie all of the characters together, right now things are just too damned separated and isolated. This, and the large number of characters, leads to me feeling like I barely know anyone, let alone feel emotionally attached.
Some of the characters are basically speaking in gibberish at this point, perhaps because we just don’t have enough info. We get another scene of Sandy babbling and the mysterious three women aren’t much better, talking to each other in riddles that we can’t understand at the moment.
Also, the strippers don’t work outside of the framing structure. They’re genius outside the direct action, but when Milligan thrusts them into the story, it’s off-putting, especially when mundane conversation gets interrupted by a clumsy, jarring line about “the old stories.” Milligan basically rams his concept down our throats.
What’s worse, that very pitch, the mixture of Greek mythology and modern day crime-drama, isn’t working like it should. Instead of a cool fusion, I feel like I’m reading a gritty crime noir that has a horribly misplaced set of supernatural figures in it, as though a bunch of characters (the ghostly women and the monster) have accidentally shown up in the wrong comic. The supernatural just isn’t blending with the mundane, feeling very out of place and, yes, incomprehensible as well.
Conclusion: This book is currently confusing, as it reads like an ambiguous mess. There’s just not much here. Gianfelice’s amazing work saves this from a worse grade.