Somebody is killing freak show members. Gertrude, the bearded lady, is dead, and so is Gill the fish man. A mysterious cult is behind the killings, and the circus owner and stuntman obsessively work to track down the cult and save their friends.
I have to confess that I didn’t read the first issue and thus obviously missed some of the resonance of this story. I found myself a bit confused by the characters and settings, but that’s as much my fault as anything. Since this comic is obviously intended to be a TPB, other readers’ mileage may vary. On rereading the book, things became more clear, but it still felt a bit muddled to me.
Part of the problem I had may have been in Brent Schoonover’s Bruce Timm-influenced art. Schoonover does a nice job of echoing Timm’s simple but elegant character designs, deriving character from a few simple lines. At the same time, though, Schoonover has some trouble with the use of space in his panels. Some panels that should have depth of field simply do not, which makes them confusing. For instance, a scene where the pair of heroes meet Hollywood FX man Pierce Jackson has so much going on in the background that it’s hard to focus on the action at hand. I have no doubt that Schoonover will get better at this as he gains more experience in comics, but here it makes things a bit hard to read.
This is a fun comic book, and shows touches of being something fun, but this second issue just didn’t grab me very much. It has some nice scenes, but there’s nothing that really jumped out at me.