When you mix murder and the supernatural, it makes a heinous act even worse, in my opinion. After all, when a living being removes the life of another for whatever reason, it’s bad enough. But when an extra-natural element gets involved, it makes it even creepier!
This book explores what it would be like to be able to observe a murder as if you were doing it yourself! I know I’d have a tough time with that, so imagine what the lead character of this comic feels!
Previously in SECOND SIGHT: Twenty years ago, Ray Pilgrim became a celebrity when he discovered his unique ability to see through the eyes of psychotic killers who were terrorizing London. But his world collapsed around him when he was accused of the same crimes as the monsters he hunted. Now, Pilgrim’s teenage daughter is using her blog to investigate a ring of child abusers that includes some of the most powerful men in British society – men who are prepared to kill anyone who threatens to expose them. In order to protect his daughter and uncover the truth, Pilgrim must reluctantly revisit his past and the twisted path that led to the hotel room the media called The Bloody Chamber.
IT’S MURDER, I TELL YOU!
If you’ve been following my columns and podcasts recently, you know how big a fan I am of AfterShock Comics. They’re creating some of the very best product in the industry today, and this book ranks right up there with their other comics such as Replica, Super Zero and American Monster. If you see the name AfterShock Comics on a book, buy it! You’ll get a great read!
The scripter for this title, David Hine, has written a lot of excellent comics for several companies, including The Bulletproof Coffin and Spawn for Image, The X-Men and Inhumans for Marvel, and several Batman stories for DC.
Hine always does a great job of characterization, and this debut issue is a perfect example of it. Ray is a person trying to escape his past, but it seems that always catches up with us! He owns a bookstore, and when a journalist comes to ask Ray questions, he manages to strike a nerve. Ray hits the guy, which is all caught on video.
What’s interesting about this early segment is that we learn a lot about Ray and his abilities. Yes, he can see through the eyes of mass murderers (what he calls “remote viewing”), but he also seems to have the ability to notice when others are, at the very least, influenced by demons. He sees a red-eyed baddie floating around the journalist, for example. But hey, that’s a journalist for you! I wanted to pop him in the mouth when he’s there at the restaurant!
What help ground Ray are his daughter, Toni, and his ex-wife, Tess. When Ray meets up with Toni, Tess is furious since she has a restraining order against him. Poor Ray – he can’t catch a break!
There’s a big surprise on the last page of this comic, one I would never reveal! Let’s just say Ray’s in for a shock that will likely rattle him quite a lot moving forward. I know I was surprised!
I really enjoyed Ponticelli’s art, which was grainy and gritty at times, very clear and dynamic at others. I was particularly impressed with how he handled the discussion sequences. Not everyone can handle a “talking heads” segment where two people are interacting face to face. He did a great job with the horror sequences as well!
The use of color was also well done, with flashback sequences colored a greenish-blue. The current happenings were very yellow in color, and that always means “caution” to me thanks to my experience with driving here in the States.
I liked the cover as well, with its use of red and white. This definitely stands out on a comics stand!
THE BOTTOM LINE: A GRIPPING HORROR TALE
When I read the initial offerings from AfterShock, this was the one I was most interested in reading. Now, that doesn’t mean the others weren’t of interest to me, but this one, with it’s interesting twist on supernatural crime drama, grabbed my attention just a little bit more than the others. I’m glad it didn’t in any way disappoint! It was horror the way it should be done!
If you like supernatural mysteries, I highly recommend this book! I also suggest you give anything with the AfterShock logo on it a try. I’m hooked on all their titles, so don’t miss them!