Review - R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #2

In the face of evil, we rely on good. Sometimes that good is morality and other times that good is the tears of Christ. While most aren't lucky enough to have the latter on hand, there are some in R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #2 from Dark Horse Comics who do. And boy, does it pay off.

The second issue is written by Jeremy Barlow, with art by Tony Parker, colors by Michelle Madsen and letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft.

Roy Pulsipher and his partner Crispin finished off the first issue in dire straits. More specifically, they were being engulfed by a massive smoke demon known as a Lucifuge, an envoy of Satan sent for whatever reason. The duo manage to escape (it would be a rather short series if they didn't) and continue their journey to Black Pool. The town has a special place in Roy's heart, considering it's where he was mysteriously killed and all.

There's more to Black Pool than just memories though. It seems that things aren't quite what they seem there and everyone raves about the mine. It's not because the mine generates all the revenue for the town or anything. No, it's more that the mine is a place of unspeakable evil that could prove to be the end of Roy and Crisipin.

Barlow is making the most of the four issues he has, working to imbue Roy with tons of backstory for the sake of fleshing him out as a character. His rapport with Crispin is effective in conveying what it means to be an agent of R.I.P.D. and dealing with things that aren't quite normal. The story moves along quite briskly as well, knowing that there's no room to waste time.

Parker's art is pretty spiffy. The entire book has a coarse feel to it, appropriate in light of the almost western setting and old-fashioned town of Black Pool. Lucifuge is sufficiently evil, illustrated with a sweeping darkness that seems capable of enveloping anything (or anyone). There are some panels where detail seems a little lacking, but it's not really enough to distract the reader.

R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #2 is shaping up to be a good series, blending the intriguing premise of life after death with law enforcement. Roy is a much more complex man than the stereotype of a cowboy would lead you to believe and his reaction to things like Lucifuge show he may still yet be in over his head.

R.I.P.D.: City of the Damned #2 is in stores now.