If you didn’t pick up The Me You Love in the Dark #1 yet, fear not — you may actually benefit from reading the second issue back to back with the first. The first issue establishes the main character’s personality and predicament as she buys a house to find inspiration for pain, but it’s in the second issue where things really open up. That is to say, she’s gotten comfortable and now the thing in the shadows has come out to play.
The Me You Love in the Dark #2 opens with Ro speaking to something in the shadows. He speaks differently thanks to Nate Piekos’ incredible lettering, and yet he isn’t too much of a threat. It’s the embodiment of the unknown, right down to not being able to see its face, but there are some legs there in the distance. Understandably Ro is having a hard time coming to grips with this thing that lives with her and soon she falls asleep.
Much of this issue spends much-needed time establishing Ro’s perspective and coming to grips with the fact that there is a ghost — or something like a ghost — living with her. Writer Skottie Young and artist Jorge Corona give the story — and by extension, the reader — time to take in this strange new relationship Ro is forming. That helps make it more believable. We already knew Ro was a bit odd simply because she bought a house to find inspiration, but soon she’s opening up to this ghost and connecting with them.
For that reason, this issue feels like a romance is brewing. A ghost and woman who knows nothing about them forming a relationship is a unique take on the haunted house — Young and Corona talked a bit about that in my interview with them — and that culminates into a kind of bond by the end of this issue. That makes the bok a bit rewarding.
That said, Corona’s art is a reminder whatever lives in Ro’s house is probably not normal nor safe. The final cliffhanger full-page splash is proof of that as what we see is Ro very happy but behind her something truly frightening. The art continues to utilize space well, with the unconventional use of gutters, interesting lighting choices by color artist Jean-Francois Beaulieu to bring out the ghost in the shadows, and beautiful depictions of the painting by Ro.
The Me You Love in the Dark #2 is like a narrative taking a deep breath in and letting it out. The first issue did the heavy lifting of setting up the main character and the second issue delivers satisfying developments and solidifies the dynamic that makes up the identity of the book.
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