Black Mask Studios 2018
Written by Vita Ayala
Illustrated by Emily Pearson
Coloured by Marissa Louise
Lettered by Jim Campbell
Best Runs Artist—Jessi Jordan
Something frightening is happening in the outside world - Abominations are acting strangely, dragging victims away instead of killing them, amassing into hordes and working together as if they have a purpose. Inside The Compound, tensions rise as Runners lose freedoms in the wake of Teddy's disastrous return. Amid the increased threat outside the walls and the unrest within, Daisy has to say goodbye to Heather, whose latest run will take her through the worst of the dangers that the wilds have to offer.
The second issue here does exactly what it’s supposed to be, stronger, smarter and faster than the one before it. I’m really rather impressed with Vita’s storytelling here. The way the book is structured is nicely done and there’s a great flow like green vines going up the house walls to create that magnificent effect. The opening here shows a little bit more about these Abominations and what’s happened since they’ve arrived and have merged with the forests to help mother nature reclaim areas that much more quickly. So basically it’s like Life Without People on with people lol. It really kind of cool to think about.
Oh Daisy and her meeting with Director Smith well that was enlightening for a number of reasons. I thought him kind of shady before but now yeah I find him kind of despicable and as the man who manages to runners and how he treats them and manipulates the time they have to spend there I wanna see some Abomination get him. He seems like a smooth talking Governor and well that just doesn’t sit well so whatever Vita is doing with the characterisation here she needs to keep it up because not only am I invested I have personal feelings as well as if I am part of the group. Oh and yes that extends to Frank.
I still don’t understand the lines that look like they are supposed to represent facial structure because they look so off. If they are something please let me know, I mean see the scars and understand those but otherwise nope. Also put in some backgrounds I’d like to have a better feel of where the characters are. Everything feels so generic and I apologise for the bluntness but in all honesty it feels almost colourforms to me. The use of page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective are nicely done and show the eye for storytelling is there.
There is more information that is being leaked and what it means is anyone’s guess but it makes Smith and his agenda seem that much more sinister and the young man Eli can he put it all together and warn Daisy in time? Then of course there’s the ending to this issue as we see what is happening with Daisy’s lover Heather as she goes on a medical run.
The concept behind this is fantastic and Vita’s storytelling ability and how she weaves the characterisation, story and plot development forward is extremely nice to see. Marissa needs to find her style it’s in there somewhere waiting to come out and I hope we see that soon. This is an interesting book and completely unique take on the End of the World story.