Continuing his battle against the remaining Furies, Clem journeys to Scotland with Hoffie Eriksdotter and finds battles a monster killing people in the name of his animal brethren. Along the way, he picks up a new companion, General Leung plots more evil, and a new player is introduced that is sure to complicate The Anchorâ€™s crusade.
In the last issue of The Anchor, a giant, demonic creature of seemingly made of ice began to lay waste to the town of Reykjavik, Iceland. Ironic, isnâ€™t it? While the world watches in horror, the citizens of Reykjavik struggle to find safety. After an evactuation order is called, the volunteers of a small aid station prepare to get their wards to safety, when an extremely large, purplish man walks in. Heâ€™s bleeding from numerous wounds across his body, and even as volunteer Hoffie Eriksdotter attempts to bandage his wounds, more appear. When Hoffie notices a small anchor symbol around his waist, she gives him the name Clem, for St. Clement. Driven to defeat the monster attacking the city, Clem is victorious, and takes a bite of the heart of the creature in victory. Shortly thereafter, he falls unconscious before a panic stricken Hoffie.
With the second issue of The Anchor, we get some insight into the origins of the being known as Clem. In ancient times, the sole survivor of a raided monastery by the sea witnesses a man walk out of the water carrying a large anchor. Intrigued, and wishing to help this poor soul, the young girl (who looks somewhat familiar) goes down and brings the man back to the abbey and begins to nurse him back to health. Once his wounds where healed and his demons somewhat subsided, she went about, to the best of her ability, to make him a holy man.
Back in the present, we find Hoffie standing over an unconscious Clem. As she discourages the reporters from questioning him, Clem sits up and says, â€œStrathclyde.â€ Hoffie recognizes name as the ancient name for Scotland. Clem beings to remember more, it seems the bite of the demonâ€™s heart has made him aware of another. This is verfified by the creepy-mummy-cossack guy we sam in the last issue. He tells Clem and the others that the demon he just killed was one of Five Furies set loose on the Earth. Clem declares that he must go to Scotland, and after some protest, agrees to take Hoffie as well.
Back in the United States, we are introduced to Colonel Increase McBride. It seems McBride wither works for or heads up a U.S. Government department dedicated to fighting the paranormal, and he has his sights set on Iceland.
After arriving in Scotland, after a rather interesting boat ride, Clem and Hoffie find that their destination has been cordoned off by the local park officials at Loch Lomond, the location of the next Fury. Ignoring the warning of the rangers, Clem jumps right in and quickly finds a young boyâ€™s bloody bicycle. The boy, or at least his ghost, is waiting for his father, and is in fear of the horned man. Clem has found a victim of his next Fury, and soon finds the Fury himself. During the ensuing battle, we find out more about Clem and his enemy, the demonic General Leung. What are the Clemâ€™s ties to the afterlife? Do his physical being and spiritual being protect the same thing on different planes? What is Colonel McBrideâ€™s role in this? And what makes Hoffie special enough to be able to see the ghost boy, Matthew?
I thought it was pretty ironic that his was the second book Iâ€™ve reviewed from Phil Hester this week. Both books are from different companies, and bother have different feels to them; that, in my opinion, is the sign of a skilled writer. The Anchor takes cues from mythology, spiritualism, and legend to weave a tale of a gate guardian who lives in two worlds simultaneously. We get small pieces of trivia (hey, I had no idea Scotland was once called Strathclyde!) and a story that seems rather cut and dry on the surface but has an underlying current that makes you wonder what is really going on. You take an interest in the characters rather quickly, and you start to care about Clem and what happens to him. His the dual story lines of a spiritual world and a physical world are interesting, and it is nice that we are learning more about the physical Clem before he are hit with the spiritual Clem.
The art is very fitting for the series as well. Having done work for companies as diverse as Red 5, Dark Horse, Image, Digital Webbing and now Boom!, his semi-cartoon style works on a very different level than your average paranormal work. Instead of the heavy blacks and scratchy lines that we may see in other real world/paranormal/mystical books, his style has a roundness to it that makes everything clear. You know who the players are and his art helps the story flow nicely. Brian Wilsonâ€™s colors help this, and you get a real sense of solidity with the pair.
I like this title. Itâ€™s not quite my usual fare, and that may be part of the reason it works well for me. I want to see what happens in the next issue and I canâ€™t wait to find out more about The Anchor. Another winner from Boom! Studios, and it gets 4 out of 5 stars.