Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: Valerio Giangiordano
Colourist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Michael Heisler
Release Date: 24th February 2021
Virgil “Two Moons” Morris is a young Pawnee soldier in the Union army during the American Civil War. With the horrors of war all around him, the discovery of his grandfather’s corpse at a nursing station becomes a catalyst that opens his eyes to the true monsters and creatures that inhabit the world, and sets him on a journey to discover and explore his roots.
John Arcudi is probably best known to most for his work on the B.P.R.D. series. I’ll always be interested in seeing a new horror series from him, and I’m particularly interested in one dealing with the folk myths and legends of the Native American tribes. The mythology of the Pawnee is not a subject I can claim to be hugely conversant with, but it is one that fascinates me, and this particular story being set during the American Civil War is just an added bonus.
Arcudi is pretty much a permanent fixture in my house, having been part of my reading list for almost two decades, and taking up so much space on my shelves. The adventures of the B.P.R.D., while definitely falling into the horror genre, were always comforting like visiting an old friend. This comfort is due in no small part due to the fascinating worlds and character development that made Abe Sapien, Liz Sherman, Johann Kraus, Roger etc. one of my favourite dysfunctional families in literature.
It is therefore with a sense of justified security that I can pick up this first issue of Arcudi’s latest story and know I’m in safe hands and that I can expect a really well written horror/adventure. Right from the first page, this story is gripping, and the world building and character development is perfectly paced and wonderfully delivered. What I really loved about reading Two Moons is that it felt so easy and comfortable, and my prior familiarity with Arcadi’s writing style meant I could immerse myself in the story and the characters really quickly.
Valerio Giangiordano does a stellar job on the artwork, producing some haunting and disturbing scenes to weave into a fantastic rendering of the Civil War that doesn’t flinch from the fact that it was a bloody and brutal conflict in which the lines between good and evil could be very blurred. There is a lot of detail in Giangiordano’s artwork, and that alongside a really great eye for dynamic action really pays off in bringing the story jumping off the pages. There is a double page in this issue that is insanely ambitious, with I think over 100 figures, in a pitched battle, and it’s great.
The more horrific and outré aspects of the story are also really well delivered. I particularly liked the huge but smoky and ethereal creature that haunts Two Moons nightmares in the opening pages. The depiction of Two Moons’ grandfather, however brief, is haunting with an ancient face made entirely of craggy lines which seems to have seen centuries of living, and has gazed on things beyond the realms of man. The one character that caught me on the hop was Sergeant McBride. I like my sergeants to be dyed in the wool bloodthirsty bastards, and make no mistake, he is that, but the reveal at the end of the issue was, if not unexpected, superbly done.
I’ve been looking for something to fill the void left by the end of The Devil You Know, and with it the conclusion of the adventures of the B.P.R.D., and fingers crossed, Two Moons looks like it will go some way towards doing so. I look forward to seeing where issue two takes us and can heartily recommend you give this a try.
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek