"InferNoct #2" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Scout Comics
Written by Mina Elwell
Illustrated by Eli Powell
Colored by Tristan Elwell
2017, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on November 22nd, 2017
Sam and her friend Joey are on the hunt for monsters, although only one of them knows that. Along the way they meet a bunch of hillbillies that take them off the scent. Fortunately, due to a monster bite on her arm, Sam has been having visions that help guide them back to their goal, which, as a reminder, is a big, otherworldly creature that she's looking for on purpose. That's the life of a rookie monster hunter, I guess.
InferNoct sets a moody and creepy atmosphere with the first issue. Much of that is lost in this chapter, mostly due to the detour to the inbred hicks that pop up out of nowhere. It's like a complete reset from the dark, foreboding environment established in the last chapter. This does make a return, but it isn't until the second half of the issue. Hopefully these side characters come back to have a deeper meaning because as it stands, it's a little confusing and a total distraction. They could have a kind of The Hills Have Eyes vibe to them
Although a chunk of the issue takes place in broad daylight, there are some rather ominous scenes, particularly those set in the strange graveyard. It's a wide open field with hundreds of white placards marked only with numbers. It makes you wonder what was really going on at this now abandoned mental hospital they're searching through. Artist Eli Powell gives this a very desolate look.
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Sam's visions are where the terror really comes in. She flashes to a cramped space with bodies strewn everywhere, perhaps from the sordid past of the mental hospital. At times it's tough to tell what's real and what's in her mind. The two worlds seem to bleed together at one point, heightening the tension considerably.
This is where Powell really delivers, coupled with Tristan Elwell's colors. We see glimpses of the monster, lurking in the shadows around Sam here and there. Then, in a terrific page turn, we see it in all of its glory and it hits like a punch to the stomach. Its design is simple in nature, but no less disturbing. It appears like a fluorescent beacon of death looming out of the darkness.
InferNoct may have lost some momentum with the beginning of this issue, but it recaptures it by the end in spectacular fashion. It further explores this world of monsters that exists just beneath the surface of our own. Sam is now connected to it. Her eyes have been opened and she can't forget the things she's seen. She proves herself capable of fighting these monsters, but there's a cost associated with it that is only going to grow.