With one witness, Connor Hayes has an excuse to bring the police into Wilmhurst. How will the residents react to them, when those residents are all killers? Find out in Where Monsters Lie #2 from Dark Horse Comics!
WHERE MONSTERS LIE #2
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Letterer: Joshua Reed
Editor: Daniel Chabon
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 1, 2023
Previously in Where Monsters Lie: Welcome to Wilmhurst, the gated community which is home to the creepiest of serial killers. It is supposed to be a place where they can peacefully live out their lives between murders, according to Zel, the leader of the Homeowners Association. But Professor Puzzleman killed a bunch of kids who came into the neighborhood and who could not figure out his puzzles. Zel calls a meeting of the HOA. This could be trouble. Especially since one young Black man, Linus, survived and went to the police. There he meets special agent Connor Hayes, who has dedicated his life to tracking these killers.
CARNAGE BEGETS CARNAGE
Where Monsters Lie #2 foregoes the humor and dives into the mayhem. Several police vehicles pull up in front of Puzzleman’s house. Puzzleman is worried, but Saint Julian, who is with him, calmly informs him that they are going to kill a bunch of cops.
We get a quick peek at Connor Hayes’ backstory. Twenty years ago, he survived the slaughter at the fair. Hiding in a porta-potty, he sees Zel tell Daniel Dawson that he did a good job. One of the police on the scene recognizes the name of Daniel Dawson – he was the kid who got thrown off the roller coaster twenty years earlier. Five years later, Connor’s orphanage is the site of Saint Julian’s rampage. Once again, Connor survives, this time with a scar.
But now he wants Linus not just to tell them where his friends were killed, but to take them there. Hayes puts himself in charge of the local investigation and calls his fiancée to tell her he has work to do. Then he and several policemen, with Linus along for the ride, go to Puzzleman’s house.
Hayes orders the police to do a house-by-house search and tells them not to split up. A couple of them knock at Pearl’s house. She and Franky answer the door. They throw Franky in the house and put Pearl in the car with Linus, which does not seem wise. A couple more cops go to Wyatt’s house. They start looking around, and he kills them. Connor, who just ordered the police not to split up, splits them up and goes to Zel’s house.
In the police car, Pearl talks with Linus. She talks about being a survivor too. Apparently, no matter what she did, Franky kept coming back to her and killing everyone around her. Indeed, before long, we see the diminutive mannequin slashing police. Julian also gets in on the action, while Puzzleman heads for his panic room.
Hayes talks with Zel. She is a person of interest in his investigation. He has seen her in photos related to several killings. He knows that in the sixties, she ran a motel which had its share of deaths. He also monologues a bit about how he has spent his life training to become the best monster hunter. To his surprise, Zel knows this. She tells him they like to keep tabs on all their Final Girls.
Linus, being a smart young man, runs when Pearl grabs a police pistol and starts shooting. He goes into the woods and finds an abandoned barn. But when he goes in, there is a growl. He changes his mind and looks for another place to lie low.
Richard, the clown, sees this as his big moment, gets his flamethrower, and indiscriminately torches both police and their cars. When Hayes and Zel conclude their conversation, he steps outside to a scene he was not expecting.
THE BODY COUNT RISES
The art of Where Monsters Lie #2 is disquieting, not just because of the blood and gore. Connor Hayes is a special agent. but the police exist solely to be killed. As such, they are pretty generic in appearance. They are not around long enough to have personalities. The most expression we see from them is surprise before they die. While this is compatible with the overall story, which is not about them, it does come across as ham-fisted and obvious. That said, I am sure that some readers will find some amusement in their demise.
The confrontation between Hayes and Zel is more interesting. Hayes is young, tall, and muscular. We know Zel is tough, but compared to him, she is a tiny old lady who wears a shawl and smokes like a chimney. He comes in, warning her that he is out to get her any anyone else of interest in the area. He seems like he expects to be able to intimidate her, but she is not to be intimidated. I like her utter nonchalance and the way that she is able to get under his skin – not literally, or at least not yet.
BOTTOM LINE: STILL INTERESTING, THOUGH BLOODY
Where Monsters Lie #2 is the ultimate in slasher tales, a story full of serial killers who, feeling threatened, have no qualms about letting loose. They have survived for decades. Has Connor Hayes trained enough to be able to take them on?
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Where Monsters Lie #2
The police descend on Wilmhurst, but the serial killers are not fazed in the least.