I love the slow, deliberate pace that Johnson is giving his work. There’s a full build to every moment, and the atmosphere that he’s able to create for us is mesmerizing. This is a book you can really sink away into, getting wrapped up in the tension of this world. Where the first issue gave us so much in terms of world creation and tried to prepare us for the strange and mystical things we may have been in store for, this issue takes full advantage of us thinking that we know what might be going on and shatters the preconceptions pretty quickly. I think my favorite part of Johnson’s style is how he handles the shifts of power; we’ve seen Matilda as a dedicated subordinate and polite guest, but now we see her in her true element of quiet confidence, and I tip my hat to the creator for building such a believable transition so well.
Once again the artwork is superb and is telling a story all its own. The first issue was tinged with the sepia tones of memory flowing into the light of bright, futuristic day and then dimming into the nighttime on the Loch, which, while dark, compares not a bit to the darkness of the submarine’s environs. This slow fade preys upon our natural fear of darkness and perfectly positions us for the horrors that he unleashes on us. We can all empathize with Billy, who finds himself completely out of his depth. (Okay, I really tried not to make this pun happen, but it’s like seeing a cookie on the sidewalk. It’s not like you’re not going to think it’s okay for a split second, right? I just happen to live in that split second. Why does my stomach hurt?) Johnson has a wonderful palette and follow through of tone, and it excites me for what awaits in the next issue.
Hellboy and X-Files fans will dig this techno-mythic adventure, and I’m loving the ride.
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