By Dustin Cabeal
If you liked the first issue of Gideon Falls, then good news, you’ll likely like the second issue as well. Having read the first issue in advance to its release, it’s been longer for me since returning to the series. Reading the second issue felt very much like reading the first issue again and left me with almost the same vibe. This time around though, there isn’t that one killer scene. You know the one, with Father Tom… shit was bad ass.
In the second issue, we follow the compulsive trash collector Norton as he walks through the park with his doctor. I don’t know her medical title, and it doesn’t seem as if it’s going to be important to the story. Norton tells her he’s finally figured out what he’s collecting and its pieces of the Black Barn that were shown at the end of the first issue. Eventually, Norton makes his way home and finds that someone has broken into his apartment and taken a lot of his samples. Later in the issue, he rushes in to confide in his Doc only to have her talk about readmitting him. Jokes on her though, she sees the Black Barn and shits her pants! On the other side of the story, the father is going down for the murder of the kind old woman in the last issue. There are some more story threads presented, and we learn that anyone and fucking mean anyone, can be a priest… at least in this comic book world. Maybe ours too, I don’t know I’m not Catholic.
The pacing is slow and steady. It’s not bad, but it is deliberate, so if you’re finding the story isn’t progressing fast enough, well you’re right. That doesn’t make it bad though, it’s exactly what Lemire is going for as he builds up the presence of the Black Barn. We’re just stuck hoping it’s cool as fuck because if it’s not then all this build up will backfire on the story. The dialogue is a double-edged sword. Norton’s side seems generic. Like if a TV show or a movie were having a therapy session, you’d hear all the same phrases and terminology used. It’s fairly boring and predictable. On the Father’s side of the story, it’s the opposite. Everyone is stumbling to speak correctly in front of the Father who doesn’t give a hoot what you say in front of him. The interrogation also came across generic in the same way as the therapy session did and it would be nice to see the story avoid anymore procedural TV show pitfalls in the future.
The artwork continues to be a lovely mess of detail and grim. It’s as if the penciling was clean, but then the artist took extra time to add more and more lines to everything. It gives it a grimy look. I wouldn’t say it’s realistic because of that, but it’s a style for the story that works. The coloring is drab and depression. Which is to say that it matches the story. There hasn’t quite reached the point in the story in which the art can carry the story on its own, but it’s a unique style.
The first issue was consistent but fairly safe in everything it did. It had that one killer scene which made it seem like American Gothic or some dramatic TV show with a grounded supernatural feel to it. The second issue doesn’t have that one killer scene though and is a bit duller because of it. It’s all consistent and safe, but nothing is so thrilling or interested that someone would need to keep reading. There’s not dying need to know what the Black Barn is because so far, it’s just there. Sure, there’s a small element added, but it was expected, much like the rest of the plot. If you enjoyed the first issue, you’re sure to enjoy the second, but if you didn’t, there’s nothing here that’s going to change your mind. I’ll likely stick with it for review sake, but my excitement has diminished a lot from the first issue.
Gideon Falls #2