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Necromancer #2

Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2005
By: Michael Bailey



"Something in the Way Part 2"

Writer: Joshua Ortega
Artists: Francis Manapul (p), Kevin Conrad (i)

Publisher: Image Comics/Top Cow


Plot: Abigail Van Alstine's life continues to go down a dark and mysterious path after she accidentally summons a demon and kills her family and friends. While running from the scene, she has an encounter with the police that leaves more death and destruction in her wake. Afterwards, Abigail passes out and recovers only to find herself in the custody of a strange cult.

Commentary: I have to give this second issue credit. It was a lot better than the first. The story definitely picked up and while there were certain stumbles along the way, it moved into the horror comic I think it wanted to be in the first place.

I really enjoyed the pacing of this issue. The feeling that the story was pilfered from Joss Whedon's waste basket evaporated in the first few pages. While the gore was a little over the top, Ortega nailed it by having Abigail leave her father behind. There was a lot of emotion in that scene and managed to bring the book up a notch in terms of character.

The scene with the police, like the gore, was a bit heavy handed, but I have the feeling it was intended to be that way. Where this issue really picked up was the confusing sequence events leading up to the last page. Ortega, along with Manapul and Conrad, managed to pull off a neat cinematic trick with the conversation Abigail had with the dead girl. If this was a movie it would have been a great cat scare, but it played nicely on the page as well.

The page layouts in this issue were great. Horror is a hard thing to pull off in sequential format, but I think that Manapul and crew brought more to the table than they did in the previous issue. The style is growing on me, and by the end of this story arc I could like it. I am relatively new to the Top Cow line of books but from what I have seen, the line attracts artists who put a lot of detail into their work, which, along with the way the book is colored, produces comics that are very nice to look at.

In The End: I have to admit; I liked it. I'm not in love with the concept or characters yet but there is definite improvement. The problem with reviewing any book like this is that the story sometimes looks and reads a lot better when it is taken as a whole. Ortega obviously has a plan, and I'm willing to give the series more of a chance than I had previously planned to. My only worry as far as the next issue is concerned is how fast the story is going to wrap up. Then again the ending could be paced just right, I've been wrong before. I can't really believe I am typing this, but I am definitely going to pick up the next issue to see how it all turns out.

Curse you, Ortega!



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