Review – These Savage Shores #2 (Vault Comics)

Publisher: Vault Comics
Writer: Ram V
Illustrator: Sumit Kumar
Colours: Vittorio Astone
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Release Date: 28th November 2018

The latest instalment of These Savage Shores introduces us to vampire hunter Zachariah Sturn, a bitter, grizzled, wolf-like man bent on tracking Alain Pierrefont to the ends of the earth.

Rather than ending Sturm’s quest, news of Pierrefont’s death spurs him on to uncover what greater Evil lies in the forests of Calicut – evil which is frightening the locals into silence on the details of Pierrefont’s death.,

The death of Pierrefont is also being whispered in  certain circles and the precarious position of the ruling family of Calicut, already under pressure from the East India Trading Co., is threatened further  by the death of a nobleman in their care. Also, the level of unrest amongst the Ghazi’s people, after a series of brutal deaths, brings Bishan and Sturn into violent conflict that almost leads to tragedy.

This is a great series. There are so many wonderfully woven threads to this story that come together to create a fantastic tapestry of horror, mythology and 18th Century drama. I loved the first issue, I loved this second issue and I can’t wait for the next issue to arrive.

Ram V’s writing takes me back to the first time I read William Hope Hodgson and Bernard Cornwall’s SHARPE.  The imagery and skill in his writing is so intense that I could easily see this being an incredible novel as well as an epic comic series.

The artwork by Sumit Kumar and Vittorio Astone is just as excellent as it was in the first issue. The style, the tone, and the exquisite details all continue to bring Ram V’s vision jumping off the page. Every panel is a delight, and there are some panels that you could drown in they’re so beautiful.

The creature design is also really interesting. I know very little about Indian mythology so it’s really cool to see a different take on demons. One thing I have found with the more supernatural aspects is that I find myself very much reminded of Rafael Albuquerque’s work on American Vampire, which, for me, is high praise.

A lot of care and effort has gone into the presentation of this series and it’s clearly paying off.  If they can keep up this quality and this passion for the rest of the series then this has the makings of an absolute classic.

Rating: 4.5/5.

The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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