Writer: Clay McLeod Chapman
Artist: Chris Mooneyham & Garry Brown
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Release date December 18 2019
Review by D. Brown (WolfCypher)
Andi Benton seems to have found a little happiness, as this issue opens with her being reunited with her mother, so of course there has to be a catch. Not surprising at all, it turns out she’s not her mother, but a symbiote/sea-corpse creature in disguise. These monsters are hunting Andi Benton, or more specifically her symbiote, to bring her to their underwater symbiote/sea-corpse matriarch.
All things seem to lead to Knull, no matter what books I read, it seems. But I will admit this, Knull was never a design I liked, but Chris Mooneyham draws him the best in the one full page appearance he has near the end. This is also my favorite page in the book. Speaking of the art, this issue has two artists on it. I didn’t even realize that until I had to look at the credits page for writing this review. I couldn’t tell where Mooneyham’s art and Garry Brown’s art diverged from each other at first (and I’m still not sure I eyed the differences in their styles). This is far from a negative, since I hate it when I read a book and get to a page where the art style has a stark, noticeable change. That didn’t happen here, and both artists kept the book’s visual vibe afloat, so kudos on the shared art duties! As I said in my previous review for issue #1, the art matches the story and writing very well. Clay Chapman used a clever trope of book-ending this issue’s story with it opening with Andi reuniting with her “mom” and closing with a creature called “Mother”, the true villain of this story. I also appreciated the nod where the Scream symbiote explains how it and Andi need each other, and for years the Scream symbiote had no one, and didn’t even have a name. This is in reference to the fact that, for years, the Scream character actually didn’t have a name in the comics she appeared in, always being referred to as female Symbiote. I am sooooo glad Chapman has given the Scream symbiote a personality!
Images from collectors.com and tradingcarddb.com
Not to bring things down, but this book did feel like a quick read. Too quick, in my opinion. The issue seems to be over with a lot faster than the previous issue did. You have about four “full” acts in this one, from Scream facing off against the imposter mom at the beginning, to Andi at the F.E.A.S.T. Center, to a brief flashback of Knull and Grendal, and then a single page act showing the book’s true antagonist. I didn’t speed read through this book, and still I found myself at the end far too soon. This doesn’t take any good merits away from the issue, but because I like this title, I wanted it last a lot longer.
Andi’s life continues to tread on with misery, but now we have a clearer idea to what’s going on around her and why. Needless to say, I’m glad this book exists. Sure, I’m biased, as I just wanted the character Scream to return to comics, but more importantly, its a good read. So far, I’m having my cake and eating it!
This may be the most interested I’ve ever been in Andi Benton. Chapman provides us with just enough answers and twists to keep me interested while still guessing at the same time.