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The Eighth Seal #2 Review

After a heart-stopping debut, The Eighth Seal is back to kick off 2016 with its second print/standard issue. Is it good?

The Eighth Seal #2 (IDW Publishing)

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The Plot

  • The First Lady looks gorgeous when she’s not being possessed/haunted by a Lovecraftian nightmare.
  • Her Chief of Staff has got some game. The President’s Chief of Staff, however, seems like an ass.
  • I wonder how the President would feel if he knew the source of his wife’s resurgent sexual appetite.
  • It’s never a good sign when you find someone carving occult symbols into the desk…and their eyes have turned yellow.
  • You know who else is an ass? The FLOTUS’ psychologist.
  • Man, Amelia Greene is killing it as the FLOTUS these days. Maybe demon possession isn’t so bad after all.
  • Oh snap! He’s in on it, too?

Is It Good?

So…how did I not hear about this series when it was released online in 2013? Because it’s really good—so far, at least. I’m almost tempted to go buy a Thrillbent subscription and read ahead, but I’ll restrain myself and read it monthly along with you.

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We can have the same nightmares together!

Artist Jeremy Rock continues to produce artwork that’s both beautiful and piss-your-pants horrifying. This issue, however, he also flexes his conventional muscles, portraying a keen eye for facial expressions and body language that can tell a whole lot of story without a single word bubble.

Credit is also due to colorist Nolan Woodard, who does a great job contrasting the clean ‘normal’ scenes with the rougher nightmare ones.

On the writing end of things, I really like how James Tynion is balancing slow burn horror and world building. There’s a lot more at stake here than Amelia Greene’s life/sanity, but in only two issues he’s made us care enough about the character that her well being feels on par with an impending global crisis.

The scene in the Oval Office helped show that there is a lot more going on in this series than creepy supernatural shenanigans. It felt like watching a snippet from The West Wing, but with the knowledge of an otherworldly threat lurking nearby (so basically the second half of season seven).

There are a couple parts where Rock’s fluid art goes a bit stilted, but it feels like he’s getting more comfortable with the characters every page.

I’m still not sure at all what the thing haunting Mrs. Greene is, what it’s doing, or what it wants. Credit Rock for making the entity seem scary as hell, but we’re going to need some narrative to back that up pretty soon.

But minor quibbles aside, I’m really glad IDW is releasing the series to a wider audience, especially since I missed it the first time. With horror comics making a fantastic surge of late, The Eighth Seal still manages to stand out.

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