Hello, my friends. The spirit of Halloween continues to grow with each passing week. As such, let’s dive into another issue of that certain indy comic called…
Last time, we had a mysterious double killing that was investigated by their friends, a parasitic monster attack a handicapped man and a lesson on terrors that lurks on Train Avenue. For better details on those stories, check out my review of the first issue. For now, let’s dive into issue two and see how our tale continues.
Serving as the inspiration to our cover, I refer back to my recap of the previous issue where I talked about an art series called “Ten Imaginary Movies” where the series was inspired by the first poster of said gallery. This time around, we have another poster that inspired our cover.
Just like the poster to the fake film “Hellshark”, the cover shows the victims about to be attacked as seen from inside the featured monster’s mouth. Believe it or not, this image actually turns out to be foreshadowing. We’ll get to this incident when it arrives, but for now, it’s time to continue the series’ primary tale.
Part 2 of our main story opens with our heroes having called the police following their horrific discovery at the end of the last issue. From there, Katie Kaye, her boyfriend Bobby and their friend Shelly Bernshaw are talking with a detective on everything that they know about the current situation. The official then states that if her missing sister named Cheri shows up, he would like to ask her some questions as well.
We then cut to a private office where Mr. Koehler and his partner-in-crime were the ones who were secretly dumping the drums of toxic waste into the bowels of Lake Erie. They proceed to get paid by their boss named Mr. Kettle before getting instructed to get rid of three more barrels of the harmful sludge.
At the Cleveland Police Station, Detective Price is in the morgue wondering what could have caused Tiger’s decapitation. After hearing of a bear attack being the lone possibility by the coroner, he decides to head up and get the film developed from the acquired camera.
Shortly afterwards, Det. Price gives the device to Tom Russo. Even with the rude behavior and pitiful eating habits, he promises the official that he’ll work on it as soon as possible.
We then cut to two young boys sneaking out of their mom’s house as Leon and his younger brother crawl their way into an amusement park. As they make their way through the semi-ravaged area, they discover a roller coaster partially collapsed in a creek. Just then, they hear a vicious roar coming from the nearby tunnel, causing them to flee for their lives.
We then cut to the Sportsman Bar where Det. Price comes across the two familiar newspaper reporters who tell him of the mutilated animals that have recently popped up on the shoreline. He then brings up the case that he’s currently working on, which leads to them coming to the realization that these attacks could quite possibly be connected. As such, Price heads out with the reporters to investigate further.
Back with our heroes, the exhaustion of a long day’s search starts making Bobby feel tired. He manages to convince both Katie and Shelly that they should head home and rest up until tomorrow before they continue their snooping.
We then cut to the breakers where Det. Price and the two reporters begin their own search. After finding the trail of blood leading into the water, he tells the two men that Cheri is mostly likely dead and that he kept that piece of information away from her sister Katie. Suddenly, Price stumbles upon a pile of goop that the initial police squad failed to notice. After using a pencil to acquire a piece, he’s then told that a biologist will analyze it for him tomorrow. Just then, one of the reporters notices a familiar creature lurking in the water. However, it vanishes from sight just when he gets his colleagues’ attention.
Later that night, our two crooked men row back out in order to complete their assignment. Despite a guilt complex growing on one of the devious fellows, they ultimately send their three drums of toxic waste overboard.
Suddenly, one of the barrels rockets out of the lake and lands right on top of one of the men. While it knocks that guy into the water, the impact causes the vat’s top to pop off and dump its vile sludge onto the remaining guy.
Shortly afterwards, our titular creature unleashes an attack as it shatters the rowboat and sends the lone survivior into the water. And so, Part 2 ends with the unfortunate man being dragged down to the depths of Lake Erie while the boat’s remains float on the surface.
We then move into our backup story called “Greens” where we start off at a farmer’s market. Our unnamed protagonist is alongside her friends Susan and Adrienne when they comes across one particular stand being run by an odd-looking man. He tells them that since it’s almost time for him to close up his stand, he’s going to let them have his edible plant called brubella for free. After Susan agrees to take some of his veggies, he proceeds to creepily ramble on about how good his edible plant is.
That night, our three ladies are back home watching TV and smoking weed. Suddenly, Adrienne and Susan have become very hungry and decide to eat their newly-acquired brubella. However, our unnamed heroine turns down the eating opportunity and decides to take a shower in order to get through her current drug phase.
Shortly afterwards, she starts hearing furious knocks on the bathroom door. Wondering what the commotion is all about, she manages to unlock the door when it suddenly bursts open.
She’s initially shocked to see that it was her roommates who were trying to break down the door. Upon closer inspection however, she sees some small vines growing out of their faces. Our heroine manages to charge at them and knock them down before fleeing.
Once she gets to the kitchen, she’s stunned to discover the whole room covered with the same green vines. Shortly afterwards, the sentient plant manage to take out the lights and leave the area in nearly-complete darkness.
Fortunately, our heroine finds a knife on a nearby table. With her infested roommates closing in, she’s forced to defend herself. She slits one of her friend’s neck, but discovers more vines growing out as her own companions are long gone from their mortal bodies. With this frightening discovery, our heroine is forced to run for her life. Upon reaching the stairs, she manages to close the door behind her.
She manages to reach the attic and turn on the light before she closes the hatch door and place several heavy boxes on top. However, there’s no windows for her to escape through. Not even a golf club can smash through the walls and create any kind of opening. With the sentient vines starting to make their way through the floor, she starts to write on a sheet of paper. However, she’s finally captured before she can finish the account, which ultimately turns out to be the same as the narration.
And so, the story ends on a epilogue as a small group of guys are at a farmer’s market learning about the nutritiousness that a vendor is explaining to them about their plant. However, it turns out to be our heroine whose now under the brubella’s complete control as she prepares to start the horrific process all over again.
Our final story brings us to the second episode of “Commodore’s Cleveland” entitled “The Damned Plot”. Amidst the numerous censors, he weaves a tale of a certain patch of land. Whether it became cursed through a native tribe’s ritual, Lorenzo Carter striking a deal with ambiguous gods, or the fact that an old god is buried beneath and sending out evil vibes, any kind of tampering by humans resulted in a supernatural do-over. Buildings have been mysteriously destroyed, pavements has been eradicated, and humans that venture into the trees never come out alive.
Overall, this is a fairly decent romp. While there’s not much focus on our main characters, the main story’s plot threads get some development and the toxic waste gets its explanation. New characters have been added, so it remains to be seen whether or not their presence will affect the tale in the slightest. However, Detective Price has been a nice addition to the cast. He shows a level of concern towards our main heroes as he pushes towards an ultimate revelation. We also have the same gritty, yet semi-colorful artwork from the last issue, so not much else to say there. In our back-up story, it definitely feels like it was inspired by “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill” from the movie “Creepshow”, since it involves a sentient plant that ultimately consumes its victim. Like the first story, it ultimately leaves a nameless hero in a no-win situation following an ordeal where they had to fend off the menace all by themselves. The antagonizing plant does make me wonder where exactly it came from and how it became sentient, but it is menacing enough on its own. The artistic choice for a green tint throughout the story is very conscious and works well with the theme. As for the final story, it’s unclear whether or not this plot of land exists since A) I don’t come from Cleveand & B) a lot of details have been purposely censored. Still, our main host still has a twisted way of telling his tales. In the end, this entry in the series isn’t the worst by far, but the main story has yet to reach an issue where it gets really good. Fortunately, we’ll get there before the month is out. Until next time, see you around the C-Cubed.