Advance Review – The Returning #2 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios)

Returning_02_coverPublisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Jason Starr
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Release Date: 9th April 2014

It feels like things have been coming back to life on our pages and screens for years now, and in truth, they have. It has been 4 years since Frank Darabont debuted the screen adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (2003 – present) to the anticipating public. The unquestionable resurgence of the dead coming back to life can even be traced back as far as 2002 to the releases of horror movies 28 Days Later and the remake of the Dawn of the Dead (the latter horrific for a whole different reason).

Jason Starr and Andrea Mutti’s “The Returning” takes its own stab at the undead phenomenon. This begins with people who have suffered “near death experiences” (a.k.a, coming back to life) soon committing horrific acts of violence. Our main character Beth suffers a “NDE” after a car crash and is criminalised by the general public who want to kill her before she can kill someone else.

Issue #2 reaches darker places than Jason Starr was willing to go with Issue #1. There is no doubt about it that this book has the potential to be quite sadistic as this interesting story moves on. There is an atmosphere of high tension throughout as this issue unfolds. Beth begins to panic and Jason Starr does a great job of keeping you in the situation with her, looking for a way out she perhaps does not see. A comic book equivalent to yelling at the tv screen.

The art is solid but not outstanding. Andrea Mutti delivers a book with strong sketch-like lines which flow easily and actions are easily depicted. However, there is just nothing that forces you to take special notice of Andrea’s efforts and you come away complimenting Jason Starr’s writing without really considering the artwork beyond general appreciation.

While falling into the “undead” category, The Returning delivers a fresh take on this convoluted genre and Issue #2 delivers a stronger book than last month’s #1. However, there is still a slight lack of that spark to propel The Returning into something special.

Rating: 3/5.

The writer of this piece was: Blair Stevenson
You can also find Blair on Twitter.

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