by Paul Allor and Juan Romera
Nancy Park may have just stumbled upon the greatest discovery in her journalism career. In Strange Nation #2, the weird is amped up as the readers are introduced to more of this world. Allor continues to find ways to drop in lines so that readers will be left with their imaginations to fill in what is not explained. It is a great way to engage a new audience. In addition, the town of Sydsville is amazingly unsettling. All of this combines to make for a second issue that may exceed the series’ first.
Having spent months undercover as a janitor at a massive corporation, DUMA, Nancy found herself face to face with a talking gorilla last issue. Forced to flee, she has made it to the office of Strange Nation to report her findings. Though readers were aware she had taken her journalism to a new outlet since she was thrown out of her last job, it is in this issue that Strange Nation is introduced. Allor has some fun with the conversations that occur in this office, making mention of several urban legends for comedy. Romera adds to the fun with the inclusion of some entertaining background items and individuals.
Park is given another extension on her story about DUMA so that she can go investigate Dr. Milo. She heads to the last known location of the doctor and finds herself in Sydsvills, the town surrounding the science corporation’s headquarters. Allor and Romera combine to create an amazingly eerie vibe to this small town. Not only does Allor script the narration of this part of the story in a way that makes readers uneasy, but Romera includes some excellent scenes mimicking that off-putting sensation. As Park navigates the bizarre town, readers will be begging for her to find her way to the closest exit.
There is something very odd and sinister at play. From the things Park witnessed inside of DUMA last issue to the behavior of the townspeople here, Strange Nation quite a series. There exists several moments of the bizarre including an opening scene that involves a gorilla-faced man speaking in Sasquatch to calm down a new cellmate. But the series does not overindulge these fringe-science moments to the point of weakening the series for the sake of absurdity. Instead, it strikes a balance. The unexpected mystery story surrounding DUMA and the spy-thriller pacing to that portion of the plot are enthralling. Though Romera’s rendering at a few moments seems a bit uneven from other panels, the vast majority of the issue is drawn quite well.
Strange Nation #2 will fascinate those already on board and is worth tracking down for those who missed the title the first time.