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"Shadow Roads #2" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Oni Press

Shadow Roads 2 00

Written by Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt
Illustrated by A.C. Zamudio
Colored by Carlos N. Zamudio
Lettered by Crank!
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on August 8th, 2018

Review:

Henry and Barry have found themselves in a strange land and they're full of questions. They just fought back a horde of bizarre monsters, so they're more than a little stressed. Abigail takes charge and leads them to the Buzzard Clan where some of their questions will be answered and even more will be created.

This creates some eye-opening experiences for Henry in particular. He learns more about his past here with some crazy revelations that change what he's known about himself. This is a pretty insane thing to think about. Imagine growing up thinking you were one thing, living a chunk of your life believing that, only to have the rug pulled out from under you. Everything you knew was wrong and some of the things that defined you as a person are no longer accurate. That's a chilling thought.

The Buzzard Clan is an eerie and mysterious group. They congregate in a huge cavern with a gnarled old tree at its center. Bones line the walls and blood-soaked cloaks hang around the perimeter. Any normal person would turn tail and run, but Henry is pushed forward.

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This unsettling feeling extends to Chief Buzzard Wife, an incredibly old woman with features that have become almost monstrous from time. Her hands look like talons from a vulture. Artist A.C. Zamudio makes her appear wise and matriarchal and absolutely frightening, like how someone in a nursing home would look to a toddler.

Zamudio adds a bit of humor to Shadow Roads with Barry. This dumb white guy says and does some real bone-headed things. Some of which can be forgiven based on the time period. Whenever he does one of these idiotic things, his face becomes childish and a little cartoony...before it's quickly smacked by Henry. It's a nice touch that adds a dose of comic relief.

This is only half of the story in Shadow Roads #2. While this is going on, Ghost Eyes and Isabelle are searching for the Hunter, the powerful monster that obliterated Isabelle's village and killed her family. Zamudio fills the flashback sequences with carnage and terror as this horde of beasts tear through burning huts and rip apart their victims while the Hunter stands strong above them.

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Click images to enlarge

Carlos N. Zamudio adds to this carnage with the eerie yellow and orange flames, creating a circle of terror around young Isabelle. This also creates some creepy shadows on the Hunter and his army. The transition from a peaceful memory to a tragic one happens suddenly and the colors reinforce the feeling of dread and hopelessness that Isabelle is experiencing.

When the Hunter speaks, his words come out in a jagged font and in all caps. You get the sense that he has a booming voice that would cause any normal person to cower in fear. Letterer Crank! adds to the intimidating nature of the character with these word balloons.

Shadow Roads is going deep on lore with this second issue. Writers Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt greatly expand this world filled with monsters and supernatural beings. This continues to establish the rules and mythos of this land and I'm eating it up. This, coupled with compelling character development and amazing artwork, makes Shadow Roads a solid read.

Grades:

Story: Fourandahalfstars Shadow Roads 2 Cover
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Art: Fivestars
Overall: Fourandahalfstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
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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