By: Alan Moore (writer), Jacen Burrows (art), Juanmar (colors) & William Christensen (editor)

The Story: After a horrible scene to end the last issue, what will become of Agent Brears who had been kidnapped by some Lovecraftian cult and offered up as a sex toy to some water monster/god-thing.

What’s Good: It is pretty hard to get an emotional rise out of me.  I’ve consumed enough media in my life that it is really hard to make me get skeeved out or horrified by fictional subject matter, but the ending of Neonomicon #2 where our heroine, Agent Brears, was kidnapped and gang raped by some weird Lovecraft-inspired cult in a bizarre underground bath/grotto before being offered up as a sex toy to some monster from the deep really freaked me out.  It was “freaked out in a good way”, but it was one of those rare comics that stuck with me as I plowed through my 60+ long pull list for a few months since the last issue came out.  What would happen to Brears?

If anything, the last issue steeled your emotions for what was to come in this issue.  What happens is still horrid and you just cannot imagine being stuck in a situation as terrible as where Brears finds herself in this issue: locked in the grotto with a randy sea monster for days on end.  The whole thing is just vile and no punches are pulled in depicting the horror that she endures.  But, no one normal wants to read rape-comics and Alan Moore understands this, so he ends this comic with [SPOILERS] Brears and the monster forming some kind of bond and the monster taking her (willingly) out into the ocean and (we would assume) his lair.  I really can’t wait to see what happens next.

As all of this is going on, we see that the FBI is looking high and low for their missing agents.  And, between these scenes and a hallucination that Brears has, we see Moore noodling with the concept that there is truth in Lovecraft and even if he didn’t appreciate it as he wrote his works, he was channeling something bigger into his writings.  Lovecraft fans will have a field day with this, I am sure.

If Moore is pitching this story, Burrows is the one knocking the visuals out of the park.  It isn’t so much that you look at the page and say, “Wow, that is nice art.”  This is more of a triumph of storytelling in terms of what to show and what not to show or when things should be revealed to the reader.  It is just nice to see creators using the medium of comics to its fullest extent.

What’s Not So Good: Let’s start with the obvious: This is NOT a comic for everyone.  The subject matter is offensive and you need to have a very high threshold to be able to wade through it all.  It will make you feel very uncomfortable, but that is what the creators intended and I think you have to appreciate that they’re not pulling any punches. I do shudder a little bit to see what more sensitive souls will think of this comic.

I also cannot help but feel that I’m missing a good chunk of the meaning of this comic by not having read Lovecraft.  It certainly isn’t necessary.  As I said, I haven’t read a single page of Lovecraft and I appreciate this comic.  But, when there are people jabbering Cthulhu-speak, I can’t help but think that there is some meaning that Lovecraft fans are enjoying that is wasted on me.  Guess I’ll have to add Lovecraft to my reading list.

Conclusion: If you think you’re too desensitized to get emotionally worked up or bothered by a comic book, just take this series for a spin.  I dare you.  Just please don’t leave it where kids can find it, okay?

Grade: A-

-Dean Stell