Review: Fall of Cthulhu: Nemesis #2

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As the followers of Nyarlathotep continue to gain strength, the king begins to have problems with wars abroad.  And this is a concern to his brother and high priest of the continent.  This issue moves away from the mystical and into the political as Fall of Cthulhu: Nemesis continues to reveal the final days of Atlantis.

focnem2cover.jpgThe allure of the Great Old Ones rampaging across the Atlantean landscape was my initial draw into Boom Studios’ latest  Cthulhu story, and while the first issue started strong with a few beasties and a cult running around, this installment took a strange turn into the political aspects of the society.  Having captured the leader of the cult of the Crawling Chaos, a large portion of this issue features Hadron interrogating the captive and trying to break him of his belief system through some very harsh methods.  It’s almost like tales from Spanish Inquisition have been ripped from the headlines and retold during ancient times.

This works for the most part, but only as it is used to reveal Hadron’s true nature; having tasted power given to him by the king to quash the Nyarlathotep cult, he begins to see how far that power will extend.  It’s enough to get the king in a bit of a twist, and it serves to show how strained the relations are between the two brothers.

King Levin isn’t doing so well, as a recent prophecy made by the oracle has the king becoming more and more paranoid.  Seeing assassins in the shadows, King Levin is keeping his troops close to home, which is allowing the Athenians to gain the upper hand in several key battles.  When the king starts to lose it, those seeking power are going to exploit his weakness, and by the end of the issue, the plot to overthrown the king begins to unfold.

Readers haven’t seen hide nor hair of any of the great old ones, and except for religious leaders proclaiming their might, at this point, I’m not sure they are going to show up at all.  This could be a problem when the title of the series is Fall of Cthulhu and not Fall of Atlantis.  That being said, I was drawn in by the subversion and political nature of the story.  I haven’t been disappointed in any of the recent stories by Michael Alan Nelson, so I have faith that he’ll tie everything together by the end of the mini-series.

Nelson does a lot with a limited space, as the story moves along pretty quickly.  He does get a little wordy during the exchange between Hadron and the king’s advisor as there is a lot of subtle innuendoes as the two feel each other out for the coming conspiracy.

As far as the art goes, Todd Herman continues to deliver the same quality as the last issue. There are some points where I think he’s being a little heavy on the inks, and lightening up a bit on the heavy shadows on the face will go far in matching the lighting in the rest of the room.

As previously mentioned, I have faith that Nelson will be able to wrap this story up in a manner that is worthy of the title, but for now Fall of Cthulhu: Nemesis #2 earns 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

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