A nighttime adventure gets serious when the girls find wolves in the swamp. But what kind of wolves are these? Find out in Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp #2 from IDW Publishing!
GOOSEBUMPS: SECRETS OF THE SWAMP #2
Writer: Marieke Nijkamp
Artist: Yasmin Florez Montanez
Colorist: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Danny Djeljosevic
Editor: Elizabeth Brei and Chase W. Marotz
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 4, 2020
Previously in Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp: Blake is spending the summer with her aunt Camila in a small town called Fever Swamp. Blake is resigned to spending her summer upstairs in the cabin, playing her favorite online game, Lore Hunter, where she has set her sights on an opponent named Lily. Camila shows her around town and several people bring up the monsters in the swamp. Blake also meets another girl who plays Lore Hunter – Lily, the Lily who tops the leader board. They plan a midnight outing to explore the swamp. Lily has heard there are wolves there but doesn’t believe it. But when they are out there, they hear a strange howl!
MORE THAN THEY BARGAINED FOR
Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp #2 opens with the girls face to face with wolves – well, not exactly wolves. The creatures stand upright and are wearing torn, human-style clothes. Blake and Lily run, and the wolves chase them. Blake’s backpack gets caught on a tree limb and she has to slip out of it. As she tries to catch back up with Lily, she notices the full moon.
They have gotten away from their pursuers and talk. They don’t know exactly where they are, and Blake insists they should come up with a plan. Lily just wants to get out. It turns out that she never really believed the stories about wolves and thought her parents were just trying to scare her and hide something from her. Blake wants to tackle this like Lore Hunter and she takes a look at Lily’s pack.
Lily brought along a lot of stuff with her. It’s the same stuff, she says, that her dad brings along when he goes to the swamp. Her dad also has silver weapons. Other than that, Lily is mostly distracted by the fact that she has no phone reception. But for Blake, the penny drops, and she realizes they are up against werewolves. They hear howling again and run until they find a place to hide. At this point, Blake is ready to run and try to get out of the swamp.
But Lily now has other ideas. She assumes her parents were protecting the town and people from the swamp and werewolves, and now she feels that they have to step up and do the same. The two girls get into an argument. Blake is the sensible one. Whether these are wolves or werewolves, the two of them are just kids. Lore Hunter is a game. Lily is carried away with her idea and makes the mistake of saying that she can protect Blake.
Another howl, and the wolves reach them. In the scuffle, Lily sprays one of them with an aerosol that was in her pack as Black scrambles up a tree. The effect of the spray is…unexpected!
MYSTERY BY MOONLIGHT
Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp #2 takes place entirely in the swamp. Although it does support the idea that the girls have gotten lost, the scenery is rather generic. It’s a very open, blue-green toned swamp with widely spaced trees and not a lot of water. It looks much the same until the girls need to find a convenient place to hide. In that respect, it feels a little rushed and repetitive.
The wolves are interesting though. They’re as distinct as humans with fur of different colors and even different textures. One of them is notably curly and another one has a two-toned mask of fur on its face. The chase and fight with the wolves is scary enough for younger readers, but is not truly horrifying. I like the pacing of the encounters. Even though we might expect the wolves to run as fast as the girls, having them get away gives them the opportunity for some character development and I enjoyed seeing how their attitudes and expressions as they change during the story.
BOTTOM LINE: MOVING ALONG NICELY
Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp #2 throws us right into the adventure that was foreshadowed last time – the monsters in the swamp. I think contrasting an adventure in real-life with the fantasy game is a nice touch, and I am interested to see if the creative team did indeed do a tweak on classic werewolves.
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Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp #2
Two girls against three wolves – should they run or fight?