Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Writer: David Hine
Artist: Alberto Ponticelli
Release Date: 16th March, 2016
After a debut issue that made you sit up and pay attention, writer David Hine has crafted an interesting follow up. Rather than trying to out-shock or better the introduction, he has reeled the pace in here. Yet, instead of frustrating expectation, the deliberate pace of his writing is truly beguiling.
There is an overall sense of development in the story – as there should be – but without that feeling of information overload that can often happen. I’m already invested in Ray’s situation, I don’t need that reinforced again and again, and to his credit David Hine doesn’t do that. I feel like I’m been treated like an adult here. I’ve shown up and I’m going to be told a story. Pure and simple, sit back, relax and immerse yourself.
The reader learns a bit more of Ray’s past here, and how he first started to use his ‘second sight’ with his daughter as they reconnect. It’s an elegant vehicle to use, and the reader starts to identify with Ray’s character just as his daughter does. By witnessing the bridge growing between Ray and his daughter, we also learn the cost of Ray’s ‘gift’. In turn this strengthens the power and allegory inherit in the cost to Ray as he witnesses events through a killer’s eyes. It’s both a persuasive and compelling narrative that the reader can invest in.
Part two also introduces us to a couple of Police that are also (without much success) looking into the Wednesday Club. It’s just a brief intro, but it looks like we’ll be following two investigations into this group in confluence. I’m hopeful this will make a compelling counterpoint as each group picks up different leads and clues as the story progresses.
Alberto Ponticelli’s style of art is pretty much perfect for the topics of this script. There are themes of horror, hallucination and persecution (amongst others) in Second Sight. The lines of Alberto, while detailed and sharp, also carry a hint of deconstruction to them. Ray’s life had previously fallen apart, and there is almost a sense of disrepair to the art which promotes this and underlines the story in its own unique way. In contrast, rather than choosing a dark a ‘moody’ palette, colourist John Kalisz has been quite bold in colouring the comic. It seems to work in an odd way; after all, Ray needs to be tripping for his ability to kick in. I especially enjoyed how he rendered the scene where Ray recalls what it’s like to see through first the victim, and then the serial killers eyes.
This is a strong second issue that does an amazing job of drawing you into the story by teasing out layers to the character’s background. I have to confess to loving this type of story construction; I don’t need instant satisfaction and I’m happy to sit in for the long haul. Judging by the quality of the first two issues I’ve little doubt Second Sight will be another successful title for Aftershock. Even if you do find the pace of this issue a little slow for you, I’m pretty sure two panels in the last five pages will have the most distracted of readers turn their head and take notice.
The writer of this piece was: Andrew McGlinn
Andrew Tweets from @jockdoom