It wasn't until the very end of Snow Blind #2 that I put together what exactly wasn't working for me. Issue two ends with a gigantic twist and a big decision for Teddy. The problem is that we don't know or understand Teddy. His life is full of some intriguing mysteries, but beyond curiosity and irritation at being lied to, we have no convincing reason for him to go to increasingly dire extremes to find out the truth. This issue sees Teddy go into a seedy bar and threaten a bartender into giving him information before interrogating a prostitute. This is not particularly believable behavior for an apparently nerdy teenager, it's also not particularly smart or sympathetic. That is a huge and central problem that makes the book hard to recommend, which is a shame because many of the other aspects of Snow Blind #2 work quite well. The pacing is sharp, using brief scenes without dialogue to transition between tense conversations. Teddy's decision to tap his parents phone goes fittingly poorly and the decision to force him to come clean to his parents which speeds the plot up immensely.
The art by Tyler Jenkins has also grown on me considerably as it has a certain moody, splotchy charm that is somewhere in between gritty noir and watercolor children's book. Similarly Jenkins displays a talent for realistic body language that often establishes the characters dynamics without needing the text. For example, as Teddy interrogates the afore-mentioned prostitute, he's a leaned forward, intensely gesturing with his hands displaying his tense enthusiasm. Meanwhile the Cherrie the prostitute is relaxed but inelegant, taking more notice of her drink than Teddy's questions.
This issue also deepens the central mystery of the book as Teddy receives two conflicting stories about why his parents are in witness protection, one from his father, one from a stranger. Meanwhile scattered mentions of bear attacks seem to be setting the scene for something later in the series (note the bear on the cover of the first two issues). All these exciting plot threads leave me...well, mildly interested. Frankly the lack of a compelling lead serves to take away most of the momentum this otherwise stylish book is building up.
As it is, Snow Blind seems destined to be the type of decent but forgettable books fill the shelves at Half-Priced Bookstores everywhere. If you enjoyed the first issue, you will likely enjoy this one too. If not, I recommend giving it a hard pass, because it's pretty cold.
Snow Blind #2 Writer: Ollie Masters Artist: Tyler Jenkins Publisher: BOOM!! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/13/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print, Digital