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'Grendel, Kentucky' #2 review
AWA Studios

Comic Books

‘Grendel, Kentucky’ #2 review

The second issue of ‘Grendel, Kentucky’ raises the stakes in every way.

Something killed Marnie and Denny’s dad, but what? The hunt is on, and it gets uglier than either sibling could have imagined.

The first issue of this miniseries did readers a great service by focusing mainly on character introductions and development. The horror elements of the story were mostly on the fringes. It became abundantly clear that something supernatural was taking place, but it was never outright stated. With the leisurely paced first issue out of the way, this second installment has a bit more room to let it rip with the scary stuff.

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One of the things that the creative team gets at so pointedly is how disgusting humans can be, even outside of a supernatural story. The opening scene of a group of men gorging themselves on food is appropriately illustrated to be as unappealing as Daisy finds it to be. This works as both a comedic bit and as a way of unsettling the reader right away. Nothing about this town feels comfortable or natural.

'Grendel, Kentucky' #2 review
AWA Studios

In fact, there are a few moments in the book where Jeff McComsey and Tommy Lee Edwards simply let the imagery tell us everything we need to know. In particular, Edwards draws Marnie with a sort of vulnerability at certain points, one that can only really be seen in her eyes. This leads to some wonderful, quiet character moments that give us so much development with little in the way of dialogue. The almost sepia-colored flashbacks are also a wonderful touch, showing us a bit of the characters’ histories as though we’re seeing the ghosts of their pasts being conjured in front of them.

When scenes do have heavier dialogue, McComsey writes folks the way they’d probably be in this situation. Returning to your old home town is always dicey, even if there aren’t monsters about. Everyone in this area is in mourning, and because of this, they’re always dancing around what they actually want to discuss.

The downside is that there are occasional moments where it’s hard to suss out what the relationships are between certain characters. It’s not a big thing, because some of these folks are here to build up the body count. However, when every other character seems to have been written so methodically, it can stand out a bit.

'Grendel, Kentucky' #2 review
AWA Studios

Speaking of the body count, the second half of this issue is all action. We finally get a good look at the creature that’s been terrorizing the town, and it’s a striking design. There are also some incredible bits where the action is done all in fiery silhouettes.

Once again, John Workman deserves kudos for his extraordinary lettering, particularly when it comes to sound effects. Whether it’s the rumble of a motorcycle engine, the screech of an inhuman monster, or the crack of a pistol, every sound has its own unique energy.

It looks like we’re finally going to be getting some solid answers in the next issue. In the meantime, I have greatly enjoyed the mystery that this creative team has been building. It’s very rare that a book delivers quiet moments that are as impactful as a firefight with a monster in the same issue.

'Grendel, Kentucky' #2 review
‘Grendel, Kentucky’ #2 review
Grendel, Kentucky #2
The second issue of 'Grendel, Kentucky' raises the stakes in every way. The development of the main characters is just as compelling as the supernatural action sequence that dominates the second half of the issue.
Reader Rating1 Vote
The artwork is expressive, showing the character's inner strife in subtle ways. When the horror elements kick in, those somehow still feel like they still belong in this grounded tale
The dialogue is excellent, with characters dancing around what they really mean. It all feels very natural
The action sequence that ends the issue is genuinely thrilling and has me excited for the next issue
This series has a LOT of side characters, with some of their relationships and functions occasionally being a little hard to put together

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