Strange things started happening when the Everything store opened in Holland, MI, in 1980. But there’s no way they could all be related, is there? Find out in Everything #2 from Dark Horse Comics…if you dare!
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: I. N. J. Culbard
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Karen Berger
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: October 2, 2019
Previously in Everything: It is 1980 in Holland, Michigan. There has been a recent economic downturn in the Midwest, but the new Everything store brings hope – and more importantly, jobs – to the community. People’s lives may be difficult, but in the Everything store, which is almost more of a mall, everyone is vaguely happy. A thread of music runs through people’s heads. But why are there lights on in Everything after hours?
CRANK YOUR SPECULATOR UP TO TEN
Everything #2 opens after hours as young Remo labels shelves. As he walks through the darkened store, a toy catches his eye – Mister Bear, a stuffed bear with a goofy grin. He remembers his own Mister Bear, whom he loved, and who brings back memories of his mother who died of cancer. A falling box hits Remo on the head and, as the music plays, Remo’s manager sends him home for the night. The music continues to play, and on his drive, Remo sees Mister Bear standing in the middle of the road, swerves to avoid him, and crashes.
Lori, the loan officer, seems out of it today. She burns her toast and gets ready for work on autopilot. On her way, she sees a fence painted orange and blue, which causes her to stop and ask about it. Eb, the City Manager drives to work at the same time as the guy who works in the stereo store. They see Remo’s car pulled out of the Lake. Eb gets to work to find out that Remo is dead, and there was also a homeless man who burned to death that night.
The store manager of Everything is taking the day off, and things get weird. She sits in her house and talks about something she saw the previous night that made her sad. A disembodied voice interrupts her multiple times to tell her to go to work, until finally there is a strange sound and her body contorts. It’s deliciously creepy.
At work, Lori hears the music in her head and gets a nosebleed. Over the course of a day or two, she’s had a seizure, experienced hallucinations, and now spontaneously started bleeding. She has a scan – and sees alternating orange and blue, out of which a face slowly appears.
The guy from the stereo store finds that some of his premium equipment is not working – the sound is terrible, as though there’s interference. But when he sees the same brand of equipment at Everything, it’s working fine and sounds crystal clear.
The scenes in this book are like strange stanzas of poetry. We don’t quite see how they connect, but bit by bit they do. But it’s rather surreal, such as when Shirley makes an announcement about how staff will be leading a silent memorial procession through the store in honor of Remo, and they do just that, scattering pink rose petals along the route. In the middle of this, Eb collapses.
COLOR AS THEME
There are a bunch of interesting things going on in the art of Everything #2, and it rewards you when you look at things carefully. Something introduced last issue was the page of advertising, almost as though there is a TV commercial in the middle of the comic. The art is heavier in a Zip-A-Tone look, which is part of what makes me think of TV in 1980’s (we did not have cable). And some of the images come back around in other situations, which gives you some delightful, “Now wait a minute…” moments.
Once you see the blue and orange color theme – such as on the fence. Lori stops her car because this is so significant to her – you keep noticing it. Like a conspiracy theory, it keeps going deeper and connecting to more things. It connects, if I may say, to practically everything. Is this just coincidence? After all, they are complimentary colors. Maybe Everything has orange shelves, and at night the shadows happen to look blue. Obviously, Mister Bear’s jacket is red, but at night in the headlights, of course it just happens to look orange. It is details such as these that help build up a creepy feeling which is ever-so-slightly off-putting in a wonderful way.
BOTTOM LINE: A CREEPY MYSTERY TO THE CORE
If weird, paranormal mysteries are your thing, check out Everything #2. The story line is not a straight narrative, so there may be red herrings, but the overall feeling is deliciously disquieting. I can’t wait to see deeper beneath the surface!
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After the grand opening of the Everything store, there are two unexplained deaths. Could they possibly be connected?