This was my week for books and it all began here. Eye of Newt had a wonderful debut issue, so much so that it was my pick for the first book I read this week. The second issue is somehow better. I don’t know if it was the fact that it spent more time with Newt or that it expanded the cast of characters, but it really was a tremendous issue that left me instantly wanting to read more. The issue opens with Newt and his Master riding a dragon to his trial. They’re brought through a crowd of wizards and witches and Newt catches a glimpse of Dea Matrona, the witch whose apprentice he will enter the Netherworld with. Here the oldest wizard sits and prepares the two young apprentices. He too remarks that it’s strange that two would be called forth, but it is what it is. Interestingly enough the girl's name is Morgan Le Fay, but more interesting is that we learn Newt’s true name… Arthur Pendragon. That’s right people; we’re dealing with some Arthurian Legend! We’re only given these two nuggets, at least that’s all I recognized.
After both apprentices enter the Netherworld, Morgan warns Newt not to follow her. He calls her out on the fact that he knows both of their masters brought them here and showed them the path. Eventually he trails behind her before he goes through the portal and finds her waiting for him with a dagger drawn. She tells him she better not see him anymore and goes her own way. Newt takes the path in the opposite direction, but when he uses the fairy’s ring a bird finds him and tells him that Morgan is in trouble. He goes to her and saves her with his arrows that he can command with his voice. He takes the eyes of a wild Garwog. They make it to safety, but Newt goes back for the arrows and the Garwog talks to him. Arthur helps him achieve death and he gives him the advice to find the Einsolst.
The journey is just starting as a lot more unravels and is revealed. Newt is clearly favored and called a hero and frankly he steps up into the role instantly. Michael Hague continues his strong narration that comes across more like a novella than comic narration. At times I became lost in the narration and would forget about the art because the read was immersive.
When I would snap out of that I would become lost in the art because again each page is like a mini-masterpiece. I really enjoy that Hague draws/paints an entire page and then layers the smaller panels over that page. His layouts are very different from other comics, but it works and just goes to show that there are still new ways to lay out a comic.
To be honest there isn’t a lot of information from the first issue that’s required of you to be able to read this issue. There are two things that will certainly play into the overall story, but this issue does a decent job of standing on its own. Granted it’s a much richer reading experience if you’ve read both issue. Once again if you like magic and Arthurian Legends then you definitely want to join in on this tale.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Michael Hague Letterer: Nate Piekos Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 7/16/14