By Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col, Andy Belanger, & Shari Chankhamma
The Mask of Night #2 opens with excitement and ever-growing tension between the crew members aboard the Boreas as trouble fast approaches our heroes on the sea. While last month’s issue had a slower start that prevented it from providing much progression, issue #2 moves the story along, while introducing many new conflicts for the road ahead. It could be safe to say that issue #1 was met with problems concerning the introduction of a lot of characters, which prevented it from being able to fully expand on any of them. But with the primary focus now centered on Cesario and Viola, let the expansion begin.
Cesario and Viola’s complicated relationship deepens and is the plot that is furthered the most. Their tension was the centerpiece of the entire issue, which was successful in creating good dialogue and new challenges to overcome. Their complex relationship, if you can call it that, was introduced last month, but was delved into further this issue, advancing the story more than anything else.
Belanger’s artistic talents were put to the test this month, but he completely delivered. He was given consecutive pages with no dialogue which forced his art to do all the talking. This was where his excellent work on facial features and expressions came into play. We were forced to interpret characters’ emotions based purely on what we saw, which was surprisingly easy with Belanger’s amazing work. The splash pages and large panels gave a lot of room for more detailed art. There were several examples that showcased the art and the coloring. While the colors are fairly simple, everything was placed and shaded perfectly in those full-page images. The use of shadows gives the book a three-dimensional appearance that draws the reader’s eye.
The Mask of Night #2 did well to progress the plot. While the first issue felt a little slow-paced with minimal character-building moments, issue #2 completely reversed and provided us with a story that was not only exciting and full of action, but intriguing and fast-paced. This miniseries has certainly overcome its “first issue blues” (if that’s a thing?) with a story that furthered the tension of its main characters, to completely new, higher levels, and introduced many new twists and turns. This series has definitely set a new course, heading in the right direction.