Publisher: Image & Skybound
Creator/Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Creator/Artist: Ramon K Perez
Colourist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: Rus Wooton
You remember the weird town of Stillwater right? You know the town where nobody dies because, immortality. A town where immortality has corrupted many of the townspeople. Daniel escaped when he was a child but he’s returned and is finding he’s stepped into a town with factions about to explode.
Speaking of explosions, the town hall with many people in it exploded at the end of the last issue (or first trade if like me you read it that way). Now we see the aftermath and, well, it isn’t good. It’s unclear who exactly is responsible but things have been so bad that the army folk from out of town are coming in to be local militia which can’t end well.
The gore of the first issues is carried over here. If you have any sort of squick about seeing bodies with limbs missing, heavily burnt or limbs and heads being sliced off, well, I would have thought you’d have already worked out this is not the book for you. There is no holding back on the gory stuff as Daniel and his mother make plans to flee before the townspeople who are against letting the secret out find them and exact revenge.
Like Daniel we are disorientated, we can see the tensions spilling over. The newly arrived and ensconced militia are clearly the bad guys but one has to question how they can be defeated when they seemingly hold all the cards and have carte blanche permission from the mayor, though that’s something you think the mayor may regret.
The art continues to show the gore well but what’s interesting is the contrast of the bright red blood with the more muted colours of the homes and outside locations at night. It really makes a statement. The art choices throughout are really strong. There’s some really good choices of panels depicting the sword fight (yes there’s a sword fight) and at times a very retro feel to some of the art too (think dots – you’ll see what I mean).
I am looking forward to seeing how things develop in this new arc. I wouldn’t say it’s an easy jumping on point though if you are a brand new reader there’s enough here that I don’t think you’ll get too lost. There’s some nice subtle exposition that’s worked in really well. It’s tightly plotted with both a lot happening in the wider events but still homing in on Daniel’s story.
This is an excellent start to the second arc and it’s great to be back in Stillwater.
Plus that ending with that last page. Worth the read alone. Good stuff.