Written by: Cullen Bunn
Illustrated by: Jonas Scharf
Colours by: Alex Guimaraes
Letters by: Ed Dukeshire
Cover by: Lee Garbett
Published by: BOOM! Studios
We are back on the streets of New Orleans and continuing on in the bone chilling drug world of ash and there is upset in the family picking up from the last issues climax.
In this issue we delve more into the family dynamic which I really enjoyed. I am personally a very character driven person so I love that the characters and dynamics in the family are all so clear and different. It can be easy for personalities to bleed into one another whenever you have a large cast, especially one where a lot of them are siblings, but after reading this I could tell you about each individual character. I believe this is a mark of an incredibly well written story and it is safe to say that with the first issue my intrigue was peaked but here I am hooked.
Bunn is also great at weaving in several story lines together this is not just a simple story but instead as this story develops we are going to see a nuanced portrayal of this devious drug business, reflecting on family and friend relationships. You can tell that this is going to be more than just a full of action drug story but also a discussion about family dynamics and perceived responsibilities.
There are some abrupt changes of location and pace including visions of drug trips and flashbacks to character’s pasts. Sometimes in comics it is easy to lose the pacing of a story with clunky changes of time and place but here they fit together seamlessly and even add to the ambience of the issue. I believe that this is due to the team effort of Scharf’s art and Guinmaraes’ colours creating a clear distinction between what we are seeing (whether it be drug trip or a memory) and how we are meant to feel about it. Everything is clear despite what could be considered a murky, dark art style which has a limited use of colour.
The pacing in this issue is interesting. There is a constant sense of rising tension with no real climax or release, but that isn’t to say it us boring. With each page we see a deeper look into each of the siblings and their relationships with each other and their parents, some being more shocking than others. The structure of the story could be considered disorganised, a common opinion from the first issue as well, but I believe it lends itself well to the theme of the piece and what I believe it is trying to explore beyond just a drug ring.
As this story develops I am inclined to believe that this is definitely going to be a slow-burn experience, it is a story which will develop and unravel slowly over time. So if you are looking for a comic that is full of plot twists and action this may not be for you. But if you are looking for something slower and gripping I would highly recommend it.