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'Dark Ride' #2 haunts with its unsettling mystery
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Comic Books

‘Dark Ride’ #2 haunts with its unsettling mystery

All that matters is profits unless you end up dead in ‘Dark Ride’ #2.

In Dark Ride, a horror theme park is running out of steam and needs an influx of new dollars. Built on what can only be described as nefarious shenanigans, the creator’s children are now trying their best to keep the money flowing, not knowing an employee was murdered in the park right underneath their noses. Those murders may be tied to something genuinely supernatural and demonic, but that’s just one mystery to unpack in the excellent new series, which has its second issue out in comic shops this week.

Dark Ride #2 opens with a close-up of the devil mascot for the park. Pulling out, we see it’s one of many dolls, a table of merch being pushed to increase profits outside the park. Pulling out further, we soon see the park creator’s son Sam pitching ideas, some desperate as if his life depended on it. Cut to those listening to the pitch, and we soon see they’re more interested in meeting his father. This scene perfectly recaps the park’s state, Sam’s ongoing struggle to have a voice in the company, and people’s utter fascination with Sam’s mysterious father.

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Smash-cut to the creator’s daughter Halloween who is seemingly in a hell amusement park. Andrei Bressan draws the hell out of this double-page layout featuring disturbing rides made up of screaming mouths, eyes, and lava. The screaming baby inside a monster of faces and mouths got me. The daughter is having a dream–but given the horrors that transpired on a worker at the park, maybe it’s real. As Halloween wakes from the dream, she returns to her loud and carnal self.

'Dark Ride' #2 haunts with its unsettling mystery

This issue does an expert job of further exploring both characters, the ongoing mystery of the dead employee, and sprinkling in colorful characters. It all leads to a rather horrific moment for Sam and a promise that there is far more to the devil mascot than meets the eye. The one fault is that the plot moves pretty slowly, with not much concerning the mystery uncovered yet.

Bressan’s art continues to be stellar, whether it’s a boardroom or a seedy motel. The character acting is spot on, and the framing is precise. You’ll feel like you’re right there with the characters. Backgrounds are also good, with some even using what looks like a slightly blurred image of windows and other creative feats. Montages in this issue are enjoyable, too, like in one sequence where a character is recounting all the ways people supposedly died in the park. Speaking of the park, Bressan continues to make it colorful, creative, and downright addictive to uncover as you turn the pages.

Adriano Lucas’ colors continue to impress, too. In the opening boardroom scene, for instance, Sam’s shirt has some nice ruffles thanks to the two different blues in his shirt. The hell-amusement park smash-cut has a hazy feel thanks to the color choices, with a nice mix of oranges, yellows, and reds to sell the setting. The colors have a brighter tone that suits the story’s comic book feel.

Pat Brosseau’s letters are also engaging, like a shouted F-word nearly breaking from the word balloon. In the same scene, a “yawn” sound effect playing over the “hunh.” helps convey Halloween is half asleep still. There are nice touches throughout to keep you engaged with the dialogue.

More than enough is working in Dark Ride #2 to make it an easy recommendation. The inventive horror park, the mystery to uncover, and the colorful children of the park’s owner amount to a narrative you won’t want to tear yourself away from. Dark Ride haunts with its unsettling mystery and enthralls with superb imagery.

'Dark Ride' #2 haunts with its unsettling mystery
‘Dark Ride’ #2 haunts with its unsettling mystery
Dark Ride #2
More than enough is working in Dark Ride #2 to make it an easy recommendation. The inventive horror park, the mystery to uncover, and the colorful children of the park's owner amount to a narrative you won't want to tear yourself away from. Dark Ride haunts with its unsettling mystery and enthralls with superb imagery.
Reader Rating1 Vote
8.4
Visuals have a bright pop of comic book vibes with creative design of the park and good acting too
The mystery is compelling with strong main characters to follow along the way
The plot moves a bit too slowly
9
Great
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