The Returning #2 (Boom! – Starr / Mutti)
Beth thought she had nowhere to turn — until a mysterious man who calls himself Marcus seemingly comes to her aid. Now, as they move through Indiana, Marcus not only claims to know why the NDE victims turn to violence, but also information about Beth’s family. Can he be trusted, or are his hands as bloody as Beth’s?
With introductions and set-up out of the way in the first issue, author Jason Starr put this series into high gear. The Returning #2 is very face paced and sees our protagonist Beth continuously on the move, splitting her time between trying to piece together who killed her family and stay alive. Marcus, the archetypical brooding stranger, has saved Beth twice and seems to have some of answers she is seeking but has a backpack of his own problems… that opens up when FBI agent Margot Warren appears. Beth has to figure out who to trust before the Changers finish her.
The story is very solid. I enjoy Starr’s rapid “on the run” story-telling, using flash backs to fill in the readers with necessary details. The dark, inky art certainly fits the feel of the tale. Artist Andrea Mutti has opted out of straight crisp line in favor of scratchy, mottled visuals – these certainly flesh out some of the hopelessness and dread felt by Beth. While overall proficient, these dark visuals on occasion have a certain amount of ambiguity that take away rather than embrace the story.
The Bottom Line: A great modern horror tale!