"Chapter Two: Stewed"
Writer: B. Clay Moore
Artists: Nick Derington
Publisher: Image Comics
As Byrd finds the criminal bosses the control the rival island resorts believe the other is responsible for the acts of sabotage that have struck their resorts, we see Byrd is in a bit of a spot as he believes the damage is being caused by a third party, which is a theory that neither man is willing to listen to. As the issue ends we see that Byrd's theory may very well be correct, as one of the criminal underlings comes under attack by what looks to be an island spirit.
The story isn't exactly rocketing forward, as the only real new insight that this issue provides is that the third party that Bryd believes is causing the damage may very well be the angry island spirits. Now the book does benefit from the simple fact that Byrd is a likeable character, so simply watching him continue the balancing act going between the two angry mob bosses makes for an engaging read, but truth be told I think the issue would've benefited from a little more forward momentum, as the investigation is pretty much at the same stage that it was at the end of the previous issue. Still, the issue managed to nicely capture the idea that Byrd is a character who lives very much in the moment, as his cunning plans are decidedly simplistic, and the book doesn't shy away from having characters point out their low opinion of Byrd's methods of gathering information. I also rather enjoy the moments where we see Byrd is easily distracted, such as his taking notice of Flanagan's dreadful fashion sense, or when his drinking Stew under the table plan turns into a sob story of his first time he was dumped. Still the introduction of a supernatural element makes for a welcome twist, as my favourite moment from the first miniseries was when the murder victim returned from the dead as a zombie. The final page development was also an attention grabber, as I had become rather fond of this character, and as such I'm curious to see if he survived the plunge.
The art on this issue has softer appearance than the previous chapters, but since most of the action in this issue takes place during the day time, I can't really take issue with the fact that the art is devoid of the heavy shadowing, that gave the previous issues a harsh, film noir quality. I will say that the art does manage to deliver the story is a clear, easy to follow manner, and it also has a good eye when it comes to delivering the action, from the scene where Bryd is flung into the pool, to the nice horror movie vibe as we see Stew discovers what has been making noise in the darkened woods. His panicked run through the woods is also a great bit of art, and the final page development made for a powerful cliff-hanger moment. I also love the cover design elements of this series, as they do a wonderful job of capturing the little moments that play out in the issue, without spoiling them.
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