Things continue in the second issue of High Heaven straight from where the last issue left off. David still isn’t having a great time in his eternal afterlife in ‘paradise.’ Meanwhile, back on Earth, Ben is starting to struggle with the guilt he feels as a result of ruining almost every aspect of David’s life. Things are quite bleak this issue. That is until David gets a better look at Heaven thanks to the archangels.
Outside of the main story, there’s another installment of “Hashtag: Danger” from Peyer and Giarrusso, as well as some prose pieces by Carol Lay, Kek-W and Austin Wilson. As always, AHOY is providing variety and value.
High Heaven is fantastic. The plot contains just the right amount of cynicism to work. It really does have an old school Vertigo vibe to it — this story wouldn’t be out of place next to Sandman or Hellblazer. The story isn’t so depressing readers would turn away, however; there’s an incredibly dry sense of humor here that any cynical person is sure to admire.
Peyer’s treatment of Heaven asks enough questions to keep readers engaged with this issue adding a substantial number of new questions to readers’ lists. While issue one was a fantastic opener to the series, this issue develops on just about every aspect from the first chapter and shows that this will be a series worth following.
The “Hashtag: Danger” story that follows the main chapter is a much needed dose of cartoonish humor. Retaining the dark wit of Peyer’s work, the story is still fairly bleak in the long run, but it is told in such a way to leave readers giggling rather than crying.
All the prose pieces are incredibly well written. AHOY is playing with the comics format in a way that really hasn’t been seen before. Three separate and distinct prose pieces in a comic magazine is a bold choice but given the market for a story such as High Heaven, readers are sure to enjoy each. Particular praise goes to “The Death of Leon Trotsky” as a standout this month.
High Heaven #2 is hard to criticize. Last month its failing was the way in which the main chapter ended, but here Peyer ends the chapter with such a clever ending it’s sure to have readers waiting by the shelves for next month’s issue. If anything, maybe the placement of the prose stories could have been divided up better. For a comic with such strong variety, it is a little disappointing that it follows such a conventional format of ‘comics then prose.’ This hardly an issue, but if there were to be any complaints, it would be in the pacing.
High Heaven is fantastic. Issue two proves that issue one wasn’t a fluke and that this is a series worthy of being near the top of readers’ pull lists. Everything about the issue is great — the main chapter as well as the extras are all top notch. If there’s any new comic from this year worth picking up, it’s High Heaven.
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