Review: Dark Horse Comics’ “Midnight Society: The Black Lake #2”

September 1, 2015

Written by Capt McNeely

Georgia Division ZADF Twitter: @ZADF_ORG

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I reviewed the premiere issue of Midnight Society: The Black Lake here and was looking forward to reading the second installment. The first issue blew me away with it’s masterful storytelling, other-worldly artwork, and it’s alluring dialogue.

I was sure that the second issue would be just as good, if not better. I was wrong. The suspenseful storytelling was there, the artwork was wonderful again, and the dialogue was brilliant. However, dialogue is basically all there was. The two main characters in this story essentially just talked to each other the whole comic.

The buildup to the climax of the story was so long that when the big reveal actually comes it is kind of disappointing. There was very little action whatsoever even though the suspense had you suspecting it at every turn.

This issue also left me with more questions than it did answers. The last issue had just enough mystery to keep the reader engaged and wanting more. This issue was just all mystery.

The comic opens up with MI: Omega agent, Matilda Finn, accompanying a rescuer named Billy Wetherell, in a submarine on a search for cryptozoologist, Kevin Kaycee, who went missing while searching Loch Ness for the famed creature that is said to reside there.

We learn that Billy is a descendent of Duke Wetherell, the first person to hunt for the Loch Ness Monster. His grandfather believed he had found proof of Nessie’s existence, but it later turned out to be a hoax. He requested to be on the mission so that he could find the creature and restore honor to his family name.

Several subs have been launched from a search and rescue boat and are combing the waters of Loch Ness in a grid pattern trying to locate any sign of Kaycee, his crew, or their boat that went missing. During the search, one of the subs loses contact with the main vessel and hasn’t maintained communication with the other subs.

Finn and Wetherell try to locate the sub by honing in on the crew’s emergency distress beacons. The signal from the beacons seem to be coming from a rift up ahead of them. They try to contact the main rescue vessel but can’t due to a communications failure in their sub too. According to protocol, they are to return to the service and reestablish contact.

Matilda argues that they need to try to find the sub, as the crew may be running out of time, but Billy wants to stick to the mission plan and surface. Meanwhile, up on the surface, the main vessel spots something large break the plane of the water and quickly disappear again.

Back below, inside the sub, bodies are seen floating in the water as the sub moves through a field of debris that one can only assume came from the missing ship. We then see black ooze begin to seep from Matilda’s eyes and she tells Billy to shut off the lights because she can see further into the dark that way.

She commands Billy to put on his underwater pressure suit and breathing gear as she strips down. She then tells him to prepare for impact as she can see the monster approaching fast. Then on the last page we see the famed Loch Ness Monster and it collides with their sub.

I know that this is only the second book of a four part miniseries, but I was expecting more from this book, especially after how great the first one was. The whole story built up suspense for a climax that didn’t come to fruition until the comic ended on the very last page. The only real action being toward the end as well.

The characters just talked for almost the entirety of the book, and to make it worse, the story only raised more questions than it answered. What is Matilda’s backstory? Why does she owe so much to Arcturus? Why does she say he set her on the right path? Why does black ooze seep from her eyes? What does any of this have to do with Kaycee?

The story didn’t really fit well into one issue of a comic book; however, it seems well suited for a graphic novel. It is my hope that Dark Horse Comics decides to put this title into a trade paperback . It may be the only way to really rescue this title.

If you enjoyed the first issue, you will still enjoy this one, but it will be bitter sweet. I can only wait and see what the third issue has to offer. Hopefully more action, more answers, and less confusion and endless chatter.

This comic series is the brainchild of Drew Edward Johnson who serves as the creator, writer, and artist. It also features Daniele Rudoni as the colorist and the lettering of Steve Dutro. The cover was done by Drew Edward Johnson and Lizzy John. It is the second part of a four part miniseries and debuted on August 19th 2015. The penultimate issue will be in stores on September 16th 2015.

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