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Helen of Wyndhorn #2
Dark Horse Comics

Comic Books

‘Helen of Wyndhorn’ #2 explores the importance of stories

‘Helen of Wyndhorn’ evolves into something even more beautiful.

Helen of Wyndhorn #2 — from Tom King and Bilquis Evely — is a masterclass in building out a world through the eyes of its characters, all while holding back from revealing too much. Helen reveals new layers to her personality in this issue, where we learn that her heavy drinking is not just an act of rebellion, but perhaps also one of self-medication. Helen is hiding from truths she only half-realizes, and the more of her father’s fantastical world she sees bleeding into the “real world,” the more she seems torn between wanting to either crawl in a bottle or dive headfirst into the unknown.

In much the same way, her governess Lilith is unlocking parts of herself she didn’t even know existed. Though she maintains a stiff upper lip for much of the book, the scene in which she finally breaks and advocates for her young charge shows that there’s more to her than meets the eye. It’s a display that makes you want to pump your fist in the air, but also almost pity the elder Cole as his self-satisfied facade cracks for once.

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Helen of Wyndhorn #2

Dark Horse Comics

As always, Evely delivers some truly gorgeous work here. The green pastures of the estate are breathtaking, with the mists of the morning swirling about the place like fairy dust, the sun just barely peeking through yet undeniably warm. The character acting and body language is heartbreakingly natural, inviting us to meet these characters on their level and to buy into their individual struggles. Even for the characters who are still guarded, there’s an unmistakable feeling that something is bubbling just below the surface; you can see it in every furrowed brow and downturned glance. Though there are no monsters this time around, we do get to see a small creature from another place. Unlike the horror show from last issue, this is a much gentler animal, completely with a much more whimsical and cuddly design. These elements and how they affect the reader have clearly been given a lot of thought, as we can understand a great deal about this foreign creature just from a few glimpses of it and by noting how the other characters react to it.

Speaking of which, the framing story of the young researcher collecting the stories from Lilith takes a surprising leap forward in this issue, showing us the days after their book has been published. As he replays the story over and over in his mind following the death of Lilith Appleton, his life begins to strangely mirror that of his subjects. There are some really lovely panels here that show the same confused listlessness in both timelines, and as our young author finds himself unable to shake Lilith’s story, Helen of Wyndhorn reveals itself to be a story about the importance of stories. Everyone is holding something back here. Helen doesn’t understand how her father’s stories are coming to life, while in the modern day, Lilith’s story is in danger of being forgotten. This issue shows us through the confrontation between Lilith and Helen’s grandfather that some stories have to be told; otherwise, they’ll eat away at our spirit.

The end of this issue sets the stage for a very different kind of story in the next issue, and I can’t wait to see what Helen’s journey holds for her. I’m also terrified for her. After all, it doesn’t seem like her family’s tale is a happy one — but it must be told.

Helen of Wyndhorn #2
‘Helen of Wyndhorn’ #2 explores the importance of stories
Helen of Wyndhorn #2
'Helen of Wyndorn' evolves into something even more beautiful and strange in its second issue, weaving a tale of loss, secrecy, and the importance of storytelling.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.6
Builds on the first issue's themes to tell an even more intricate story about stories
Phenomenal character acting and scenery
Gives us more mysteries, even as it seems to draw our characters closer together
Elaborates on the framing narrative in unexpected ways
10
Fantastic
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