Writer: Jeff Lemire / Artist: Dustin Nguyen / Image
Jeff Lemire is out here just forcing me to confront the fact that I actually love horror. I love the visceral viscera. I love the tension of humanity and monstrosity. I love how the genre is grounded in a more defined atmosphere, a very specific space with a very specific confrontation. Little Monsters #2 is perhaps the perfect embodiment of this exact atmospheric, adrenaline inducing world, and it’s incredible how much more invested I got into the survival of the last kids on earth (who happen to be vampires).
Little Monsters #2 opens with a flashback all the way back to 1763, where we actually get to witness the start of the vampire pack in the eerily named Black Forest. Given the snowy setting, the chopping of wood, and the eventual conclusion of events, I get a little bit of Nezuko from Demon Slayer vibes, and I mean that in the best way possible. The innocent being corrupted by the malevolent is a fascinating trope to view, and Lemire’s exposition gives it a decidedly unique tone and almost treats the curse as a type of kindness.
After that interlude, we return back to the present, where we get some vignettes with Romie and Billy before their actions incite the group to come together as a whole, and then the story just accelerates in an entirely different vector. The last page reveal changes the trajectory of the story dramatic, and Lemire pulls off the pivot perfectly.
Nguyen’s artwork is absolutely phenomenal. The black and white pages with very intentional use of color makes each a spectacle. It’s utterly enthralling how the various volumes of red change the intensity and tone of the moment, and the use of kinder blues, greens, and orange help indicate that these are still children at heart, even if their teeth indicate that they are capable of more violent actions. The somber moments of sadness and the scary moments of sadism stand out in different measures and makes for a thrilling second chapter.
Little Monsters #2 has officially sunk its teeth into me. It’s a brilliantly constructed, expertly illustrated comic that any horror fan deserves to be current on.
9.4 “Axes” out of 10
Enjoying Little Monsters? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.