"Fearscape #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Vault Comics
Written by Ryan O'Sullivan
Illustrated by Andrea Mutti
Colored by Vladimir Popov
Lettered by Andworld Design
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 7th, 2018
Henry Henry, the most unlikely hero in history, is making his way through the Fearscape on a quest to stop some horrible atrocities from hitting mankind. The only problem is that he's a selfish jerk who is not supposed to be here. Can he put his own ego aside long enough to help the world? Probably not.
We're only two issues into Fearscape and Henry Henry is shaping up to be one of the greatest villains of all time. Writer Ryan O'Sullivan has made an absolutely despicable human being in this character. This guy has such an unwarranted high opinion of himself that reeks of every idiot who’s ever ragged on a writer on Twitter but has never put pen to paper. Henry narrates the book in such a condescending tone that I want to strangle him with every page turn.
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This makes his current situation all the more harrowing because he's put into a position where he has to think of the wellbeing of others and he can't do it. The very thought seems to shake him to the core and he's looking for a way out. He can't even make it through the very first challenge.
Letterer Andworld Design gets creative with the narration and dialogue in Fearscape. Since Henry is in charge of what the reader sees and doesn't want to be painted in a negative light, he can override what some people are saying. There's a great panel where someone is trying to explain something that he doesn't want to hear, so his narration box appears over their word balloon with the words “No! No more lies!” like some kind of propaganda.
The land of the Fearscape is full of imagination that runs the gamut from dreams to nightmares. Artist Andrea Mutti does a brilliant job, showing you that literally anything can happen in this place. Henry's journey takes him from peaceful beauty to abject terror. This is that Sandman quality that I mentioned in my review for the first issue. You have no idea what could be coming next because this isn't the real world.
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This works hand-in-hand with Vladimir Popov's colors. They can range from a gritty, realistic view to a bright, bold fantasy world. The muse in particular stands out, glowing with the energy of life and creation to the point where you almost have to shield your eyes from her presence. On the other end of the spectrum, the darkness looms all around with untold horrors awaiting in the shadows. It pulls forth the feeling you get from watching classic movies like The Neverending Story or The Princess Bride.
Fearscape tackles big concepts in an easy to digest manner. It examines a very flawed character, as he's reluctantly pushed along the hero's journey that he doesn't want or deserve to be on. This makes for an interesting dynamic that carries some very dire consequences. The road is only going to get harder from here, so I can't imagine how Henry is going to deal with what comes next.