Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland #2
By Kim Newman, Maura McHugh, Tyler Crook & Dave Stewart
The second installment in the Mysteries of Unland story continues to do right by the Witchfinder title. However, there were moments where this issue dragged a bit. After the breakneck awesomeness of the first issue, MoU #2 didn’t quite satisfy the hype the title had built for itself.
The latest issue in the ongoing tales of Edward Grey really slowed things down. One of the greatest aspects to Mysteries of Unland #2 was the heavy detective vibe that pervades the book. This works particularly well given the Victorian setting. The mysteries deepen in this installment, but the pace just felt a little off. Stories in the Mignolaverse often develop relatively slowly, and that’s fine, but there seemed to be a bit too much filler material in this one. However, this doesn’t detract from the genuinely creepy tone which features so heavily here. This issue of Witchfinder may not have been quite as good as anticipated, but Kim Newman and Maura McHugh still managed to develop the mysterious supernatural dimension of this story while really conveying a sense of unease and suspense through some excellent character interactions.
The artwork is where MoU #2 really shines. Tyler Crook, as usual, includes a ton of detail in each panel, which really helps bring the world of Witchfinder to life. There is one moment that was especially well-executed, which features a subtle image of an eel spying on a conversation through a large drainage pipe. The coloring and the image distortion work perfectly as the point of view changes to that of the eel itself. The more supernatural elements in this book were terrifically designed and quite interesting, particularly the eerie cloaked figure in Unland. The ending of this issue was illustrated in a way that conveys a strong sense of unease and revulsion. As usual, Dave Stewart’s colors add a lot to the overall feel of this book, and everything is appropriately grim and drab as it should be, but still maintains an essence of vibrancy and life at the appropriate moments.
While this issue may not have been as exciting as usual, the latest installment in Witchfinder was a fairly enjoyable read that keeps the mystery rolling forward. This was a very creepy issue that does a terrific job of employing some classic horror elements.