An explosion, glimpses of mysterious figures, and a vicious murder that may be happening to save the world. That is the quick synopsis of the second issue of Blackcross. Let me tell you after two issues, I don't really know what is going on, but I will be anxiously awaiting the next issue in hope of answers. More mystery is fine too, this is a story I can easily wait for answers to. So let's roll back the praise and discuss the issue. In the small town of Blackcross everyone knows everyone else. A few choice citizens, a man in witness protection, now known as “Robert Benton” is chatting with the mail carrier. Then boom a bomb goes off. Robert is hospitalized but with a black skull and crossbones left on his chest.
We then get a series of small conversations. One is Mari (the fortune teller from last issue) going to the bar and talking to the bartender. Then Agent Hill gets told by his superior to make haste to Blackcross to help on Robert's case. After that a new police deputy Maggie Allen talking to a doctor about Robert. Finally we have Agent Hill, Deputy Allen, and the sheriff comparing some notes. Seems straightforward enough, except Mari is having random visions of glowing green figures and people roaming the woods while on fire. Deputy Allen is also having peculiar visions, but of a red figure with fiery eyes. How these are connected I don't know. Things are coming to ahead quickly though.
I have of course skipped over the part where the witness protection officer is brutally murdered by a guy wearing a ripped up American flag. The guy is also capable of being hit by a car and not being damaged at all, and ripping anything in his way to shreds. He leaves the poor officer with a seared in star and stripes across his chest after talking about how this was the lock and it would keep us safe.
Overall the issue is generally eerie along with conversational bits from a small town. We don't have the sexy hook to start like last issue, but the attack near the end is our big “whoa” moment this time around and it delivers in spades. This isn't just a Twin Peaks esque story, there are definitely monsters here too. We still don't have answers though, and that is quite alright. We still have a divided cast who each have their own “short”, so this is still a lot of smaller stories making up a single whole. As each story is still setting up questions, we won't have answers for a little bit. If the questions remain this creepy and well done, I am sticking around and suggest you do the same. If for no other reason then to enjoy this amazing, moody art.
I can and should just gush about that for a while, it is perfectly in tone with the story and brings it to life. Besides not knowing character names, and missing some amazing dialogue, this story could work perfectly without a single word printed. It is that perfect. Of course we get the awesome art and a Warren Ellis dialogue, so we have the best of all possible worlds.
Best random piece of character development, the mail carrier feeds the bears in the forest because she thinks the large one may be her dead uncle. That is a Warren Ellis quirk for sure.