08th May2017

‘Penny Dreadful #2’ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written by Chris King | Art by Jesus Hervas | Published by Titan Comics


Well last issue was something of a cracker I think you’d agree. The first issue of this new series, and essentially Season 4 of the TV show, lived up to my already high expectations and then some. Chris King managed to not only retain the authentic voice of the characters, but to also retain the atmosphere and the moodiness of the show, something as integral to it as the stories themselves. This shouldn’t be a surprise I guess as Chris King was one of the actual show runners, and has as deep an affection for the characters as us fans. Comic books of course though are a different animal so the fact it has transferred so successfully across shouldn’t be underestimated.

Last issue saw us catching up with the characters six months after the death of Vanessa Ives. Ethan Chandler has never recovered from her death, and has enlisted the help of Vanessa’s therapist Dr Seward. Dr Seward agreed to help without being fully aware of Ethan’s ‘anger issues’…ok, the fact he turns into a ferocious werewolf and kills everyone and everything in range. The real action slightly surprisingly revolved around our favourite camp archaeologist Mr. Lyle. Having unearthed some Egyptian finds on a dig, he is hosting an opening night gala at the museum. Rather too late he discovers his patron, The Duke of Kent, is actually one of the sons of darkness, devil worshippers, and has brought back to London the tomb of Belial. The bad news? Belial rises from the dead in the middle of the gala. The good news? Sir Malcolm and Catriona are there to help.

We kick off this issue in great fashion with Mr. Lyle leading the guests to safety as Sir Malcolm and Catriona fight the newly zombified former guests killed by Belial. Belial, looking like the tradition Mummy from all those old Hammer movies, escapes into the London sewers, and Sir Malcolm and Catriona give chase. They seem to rather be enjoying all this, up to the point they lose him. A quick catch up with Mr. Lyle brings them up to speed. Belial is the servant of Lucifer, and has the ability to bring the dead back to life, something Sir Malcolm and Catriona know full well. This clearly can’t end well.

Meanwhile Dr Seward and Chandler are at the isolated cottage from the TV series, where Dr Seward is trying to calm, or even tame, the transformed Ethan. She hypnotises him and enters his mind, helping his human side fight a battle on the spirit plane between his human and wolf sides. Ethan’s human side seems to win, giving his human side supremacy over the more dominant wolf persona. Or has it? Can The Wolf of God be tamed at all? Now human again, Ethan starts to descend into depression and feeling sorry for himself, allowing Dr Seward to exercise her more conventional psychiatrist skills and give him a kick up the backside. Medically speaking of course.

Back in London Belial is amassing an army of the undead, with London’s cemeteries supplying a plentiful supply of dead people. The Duke of Kent and the sons of darkness are preparing to put in motion the plan to allow Lucifer to take human form. Ah, but what’s this? Another piece appears on the board, Lily, the updated Bride of Frankenstein, seemingly now working on the side of good and planning to take on Belial herself. As great as that cameo is, the final mike drop from Chris King comes with the revelation that back in Ancient Egypt Belial and Amunet were lovers. That would be Amunet who possessed Miss Ives herself, and hat would explain Belial standing before Vanessa Ives grave. Assumed you had seen the last of Vanessa? You may want to re-think that.

Another great issue, written and drawn perfectly. The story is progressing at a nice pace, the characters are coming into their own, and the authenticity of the show is apparent in every panel. The art and colouring captures this world perfectly, a truly great job by Jesus Hervas and Jason Wordie that perfectly captures Chris King’s words. A top of the pile book without question.

****½  4.5/5

Penny Dreadful #2 is out now from Titan Comics.


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