Review - Noctua #2

"You think I'm scared of you...vampire?"

Vampires are people too. Sort of. In certain worlds, they're viewed as equals to humans, despite their ability to kill them on a whim if they desire. Such a world exists in Noctua #2 from Alterna Comics.

The issue is written by Andrew Henderson, illustrated by J.C. Grande, colored by Eagle Gosselin and lettered by David Paul.

Human trafficking by itself is a pretty repulsive act, but it's definitely even worse for the trafficker when paid a visit by a vampire on behalf of an angry employer. The two exchange words (with the vampire having the last), setting up another meeting later on between another vampire and Mr. Kowalski. Their meeting revolves around the hiring of Kowalski to kill Noctua, setting Noctua up for having to deal with even more troubles.

For a second issue, Noctua #2 evens the story out a bit, providing some context for Noctua and the world he lives in. He really tries to hit a point of inequality home, offering up various scenarios where the vampires are looked at with disdain. The feeling is mutual at other points, including a rather amusing (but harsh) restaurant scene. Henderson may be losing sight of what the book is about by making it too much of a statement comic. Having said that though, it does offer up a solid continuation of the series and explains a bit of the universe being created as a whole.

Grande's art is sufficient, offering a rather cartoonish and almost blocky look to the work. Some of the sequences are illustrated extremely dark, which makes it difficult to discern exactly what's taking place on the page. That fits with the idea of vampires, but it's not very conducive for actually taking in the action. There are some inconsistencies in the art from one scene to the next. The transitions certainly aren't jarring and the art works as a whole, yet there are a few moments where it feels like some of the art was rushed and other parts wasn't.

Noctua #2 isn't breaking new ground with its premise (it appears to borrow rather heavily from True Blood), but it is offering a story that's coming into its own with the second issue. Noctua is given more background to support his reputation in the book, which also helps by giving the reader someone to get behind in the proceedings. Art is strong enough to carry the book despite its inconsistencies and the total package is evening out very well. Definitely worth a look if you're into vampire stories.

Noctua #2 is available now in stores and via comixology.