Review – The Eighth Seal #2
Writer: James Tynion IV
Pencils: Jeremy Rock
Colours: Nolan Woodard
Letters: Troy Peteri
Something nasty is happening to first lady Amelia Greene as her dreams of something unspeakably evil begin to become more and more real. Is she just having some strange delusion or is there something altogether darker going on behind her eyes?
Tynion really sets things clear in this issue and ramps up the lingering horror several notches as Amelia descends further into her dreams. She appears to no longer rear the apparition that appears to her and may actually be embracing her dark side. The book moves along at a fairly swift pace and establishes a couple of things that we as the readers will need to keep notice of, first of all this is all very real and secondly, people around her are very aware of the situation and even seem to be planning something.
Amelia’s bodyguard Brian is one of our more interesting protagonists and almost acts for us as he witnesses the changes in Amelia’s domineer and her physical change during the first scene. Despite his concern over her and his willingness to protect her we are given a very clear sign that their relationship is purely professional and that no romantic interest will ever be explored which is refreshing to say the least. Tynion’s sleep walking scene is a very hair raising scene if you have the connecting scene from the first issue fresh in your head, I won’t spoil it but it certainly marks a turning of sorts in the tale.
Rock’s pencils are certainly put to work this issue as we are again presented with a twisted ghoulish form of dark Amelia and given the way things are going we do start to wonder which is the original. All too often female demons are presented to us as sexual and pleasing to the eye but this manifestation is the stuff of nightmares. I can’t quite put my finger on what exactly is so horrifying about her but It may well be the contorted shape of her body paired with the numerous sets of glowing yellow eyes. Woodard’s colours add a degree of oppressive darkness appropriately to Rock’s art, the colours used throughout tend to be warm and create an almost soap opera safe feel right up until dark Amelia’s presence shatters the peace.
My only real disappointment with this issue is that Tynion didn’t keep up the pretence of Amelia and whether her episodes where in her head or actually happening to her. Though it was inevitable that someone was always going to see that side of her in the open, I do wish we had one more issue just to try and guess for ourselves.
The Eighth Seal is coming along nicely and is definitely not the kind of book you want young children to be fishing out of your comic book pile. The set up to something that certainly feels important to the story as a whole is well underway and I am very curious to see what these other players who already know of Amelia and her secrets have planned. These kinds of horror stories rarely end well for the loved ones and friends of such characters so I await issue 3 with baited breath.