Friday, June 21, 2013

Review - Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #2

"And poor Allan, caught in all the turmoil."

It's often the case that outsiders get dragged into the turmoil of others. Often, they're just trying to help, but what they uncover is a lot headier than even they expected. Sometimes those instances involve a man trying to steal the soul of his sister through painting. This is Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #2 from Dark Horse.

The second issue in the miniseries is written and illustrated by Richard Corben with letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot.

After the mysterious death of Roderick's sister, Roderick, Webber and Allan take her down to the basement for a burial. Naturally, a house with its own mausoleum can have ill effects on the sanity of those within, prompting Allan to awaken in the middle of the night to a nightmare about Roderick's sister. What ensues is finger-pointing, wild accusations and violence; everything you come to expect from a Poe work adapted by Corben.

While the first issue really prepared the reader for something truly macabre, the second issue felt a little underwhelming. Corben packed the first one with atmosphere and set-up, but the second issue sort of fizzled as the pacing felt off. The resolution of the story felt like it was stretched out to fill the second issue and maybe Corben would have been better served making the entire arc a one-shot. He does manage to imbue the second issue with the same level of creepiness present in the first and the second issue maintains that grave feel.

Corben's art is just as distorted as it is in the first issue. There's less of a focus on rawness and more on action in this issue, as Allan moves through the house flinging accusations. There are some pretty intense action panels that are filled with fisticuffs, accenting the strangeness of the story. All of the creepiness factor from the first issue is on full display and Corben pulls no punches in concluding the arc.

As a two-issue miniseries, Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher would've been better off as a one-shot. Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #2 concludes the tale with a lot less momentum than the first issue, with the pacing somewhat stilted when compared to the first issue. Allan finds himself overseeing the Fall of the House of Usher (both literally and figuratively) and to say all's well that ends well would be hiding the fact that the two issues deal with pretty perverted subject matter.

Edgar Allen Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher #2 is in stores now with interiors below.





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