Review: House of Night #2

Story: P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast
Script: Kent Dalian
Art Joëlle Jones and Joshua Covey
Colors: Ryan Hill and Dan Jackson
Cover: Jenny Frison
Published By: Dark Horse

The second issue begins with Zoey and Damien in their fencing class which quickly transitions into Damien having to fence against his ex dorm mate Thor (!).  We learn some more about Damien, the one boy in the Dark Daughters.  We find out he’s gay, as if that isn’t hard enough for a teenager, he’s also a     vampyre…from Texas no less.  Zoey is waiting for her next lesson from the Goddess Nyx and in the meantime she makes sure to thank her friends for helping and believing in her when she was ready to give up.  This issue manages to capture the uncertainty and insecurities that teenagers go through at this age, minus the whole vampyre/magic aspect of it all.  The bullies, Thor (!) and Aphrodite are reminiscent of bullies in Anytown U.S.A.  They have their own issues but don’t have the support group (mainly because they are mean) that the regular kids do.  As Zoey soon finds out that the next lesson she must learn is air, we are given a flashback about a mother and her two daughters.  This flashback is extremely sad and very compelling.  Zoey and her crew learn about air, its powers, and the origins of The Dark Daughters.

I liked this issue a lot.  I like the depth and juxtaposition being used to flush out Aphrodite’s character.  As stated previously, I really enjoyed the humor in this issue, it was cute and witty.  I could hear these characters actually delivering these lines.  The art is fantastic and really captures the emotion and moods wonderfully.  I think this series has a lot of promise and is definitely worth picking up, I would recommend buying the first issue to begin.  There is a lot of back story that is important and I think if the reader just jumps in he/she may feel a little lost.

Release Date: December 14th, 2011

Story:★★★½☆ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★½☆ 
Overall:★★★½☆ 

Review: Orchid #3

Script: Tom Morello
Art: Scott Hepburn
Colors: Dan Jackson
Cover: Massimo Carnevale
Published By: Dark Horse

Massimo Carnevale Cover

In the last issue of Orchid we saw Orchid, Simon and Yehzu about to die as a result of genetically modified, totally scary, extra-large bears.  Just as death seemed imminent they were rescued by a mysterious woman who rode in on her trusty steed.  This issue begins eleven days later, still staying with the mystery woman, who for all intents and purposes… seems a bit loony, but definitely has the will to survive (she seems to only communicate in song.)  We find that she has a very close relationship with her horse, Radius, which is understandable as she lives in the middle of the wild all alone and appears to have lived like this for a very long time.  As Orchid decides that she can no longer stay with the crazy lady and Simon (whom she blames for everything), she finally talks!  We learn her name is Opal and she tells them her life story, which is both captivating and heartbreaking.  Opal, tells of her relationship with the great revolutionary General China, the man of the people. Or was he?

This issue like the previous two is phenomenal.  There are so many layered stories that are all fantastic and even though it should be confusing it’s done so well that it’s not.  The flashback storytelling of this series is amazing, Tom Morello really understands how to get to the heart of these characters and makes every story fantastic.  The writing is concise and so perfect that the only thing you are left wanting is more.  If you have not started reading these yet do yourself a favor and go get this one and the previous two immediately, you won’t be sorry!

Release Date: December 14th, 2011

Story:★★★★½ 
Art:★★★★☆ 
Dialog:★★★★☆ 
Overall:★★★★☆