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Daphne Byrne 2 Main

"Daphne Byrne #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Comics / Hill House Comics

article-cover

Written by Laura Marks
Illustrated by Kelley Jones
Colored by Michelle Madsen
Lettered by Rob Leigh
2020, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on February 5th, 2020

Review:

Daphne got a little too close to darkness and something came back with her. The mysterious entity known as Brother is following her around, taunting and beckoning her along, pulling her deeper into the abyss. She was already a little macabre to begin with, but her life is getting more twisted as time goes on thanks to Brother's influence.

Daphne Byrne hits on the perfect kind of slow-moving, creeping horror. There aren't really jump scares in this book. Instead, there's this unsettling quality, like a slime permeating through every page, causing you to constantly look over your shoulder. Much of this is due to the unnatural way that Brother appears. He may look human, but it's clear he's anything but.

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Artist Kelley Jones puts the character in odd positions, or even just pieces of him. There's a chilling sequence in a library where a single eye peers at Daphne between books from the other side of the shelf. A single hand slinks through the tomes like a spider. The poor girl doesn't understand the threat this entity brings with him, but it's definitely shown to us in an ominous light. Immediately after this shot, there's a telling image where Brother's shadow looms menacingly over Daphne.

Reality seems to distort around Brother and strange things can happen in his presence. This leads to some of the best visuals of the comic as Jones really lets loose. There's a bit of a supernatural cosmic flair to this, alluding to the raw power at play here.

As scary as Brother can be, at times he pales in comparison to the mean girls that taunt Daphne. They do fill a stereotype of sorts as the stuck-up rich girls who thrive on tormenting others. They have these smug faces that make you hate them so much. This contrasts with Daphne who is stern and resilient.

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Colorist Michelle Madsen creates a drab setting for Daphne Byrne. It's set decades ago and definitely feels that way. The streets are grim and dirty and the dreary light casts ominous shadows everywhere. The tone changes a bit when Brother comes to play. Those dark tones don't necessarily come alive. It's more that they alter to show the world in a different light, opening our eyes to the decomposing state lurking just beneath the surface.

Daphne is the only one that can see or hear Brother. Instead of confusing us with contrasting word balloons, letterer Rob Leigh presents Brother's dialogue in caption boxes, like it's being beamed right into Daphne's head. This makes her look crazy at times because she's still speaking to him like he's right beside her. This just adds to the disturbing nature of this comic.

Daphne Byrne will get under your skin in the best possible way. It's a horror that creeps up on you, sending a shiver up your spine with each turn of the page. This young girl is getting pulled into the depths and the only one there to help her is pushing her head down below the surface.

Grades:

Story: fourstars Cover
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Buy from Amazon US
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Art: fourstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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