Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Twilight Children #2 Review and *SPOILERS*

Who’s Screwing Who?

Written By: Gilbert Hernandez
Art By: Darwyn Cooke, Dave Stewart
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: November 11, 2015

*Non-Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

We return to the tiny Latin fishing village where mysterious glowing orbs appear and disappear without warning, the children have been struck blind and only show the whites of their eyes, and chain-smoking hussy Tito will probably sleep with you if you lock eyes with her for twenty seconds. In this issue, we delve deeper into the relationships between our main characters as well as learn of a new phenomenon that seems linked to the glowing orbs…along with a new white-haired village resident. Will all our questions be answered? Nope, but it’s gonna look really good as the story unfolds. Read on for more gushing!

Explain It!

Our tale begins with a flashback to the previous life of town drunk Bundo, before he was a drunk and lived in a shack on the beach and chased kids away from the bluffs. He was a family man with a wife and two kids, and one day he was roused from a nap by these same children and their claims of a man skulking about. After exchanging some loving patter with his son, daughter and wife, he steps outside to continue his siesta in a hammock, when one of the glowing white orbs rises from the ground beneath him, leaves the ground fully, and vaporizes Bundo’s family and home into nothing. Which, you can imagine, sort of bums him out.

Meanwhile the scientist, named Professor, from what must be the Institute of Weird and Spooky Stuff, is examining the children that were blinded after touching one of the glowing spheres in the last issue. He finds that, despite their eyes going all Little Orphan Annie and showing only whites, there has been no damage to the optic nerve. This is of great consolation to Tito, who uses this ice-breaker as an opportunity to flirt heavily with the Professor. He rebuffs her because he’s only got eyes for the new girl in town, a white-haired beauty named Ela, who showed up after the major storm that seemed to have been triggered by the orb being touched (again, all last issue.) Tito’s lover Anton and her husband Nikolas notice her interest in the scientist, and they don’t like it one bit—though in Nikolas’ case it’s because he also has eyes for the white-haired hottie Ela. So I think what we have here is a love trapezoid or maybe a hexagon.

Weird stuff keeps happening around town: Bundo steps in some footsteps left in the sand by Ela, and he is blasted to nothingness by an energy burst that looks similar to the one that destroyed his home and family. Ela hangs out on the beach one night and three little orbs ring her head, while two men in snorkeling gear and wetsuits make land nearby and disrobe to reveal gaudy vacationer’s clothing. Eventually, the Professor follows Ela to the beach and is zapped away by the same weird energy that claimed Bundo and his family, and we actually see Bundo in this energy and he advises the scientist to return. The scientist then appears astride a tree branch, naked a jaybird, to learn that while he was gone the blinded children regained their sight but only momentarily.

Look: I could go on, describe the rest of the story, fill in the parts I missed, but then you might take that as a reasonable facsimile for having read the book. But it wouldn’t be, it could never be because my sniveling words penned after the fact don’t even come close to how well-done and enjoyable this comic book is to read. The story is engaging, well-paced, the characters are well-defined with a minimum of exposition—if modern mainstream comics looked like this, it would make entrenched fans’ heads explode. This is a crash course in great comic book making in four lessons, Professors Hernandez and Cooke are leading the class. If you grab issue #2 then you might glean enough to catch up before finals.

Bits and Pieces:

The plot deepens and so does the little fishing village’s amorous connections as a mysterious new woman appears in the wake of the storm from the last issue. There’s lots of intrigue and some punching in this issue, but really it’s just a pleasure to look at, as Hernandez and Cooke’s story is so well-paced and draws you in despite not having learned a lot about the suddenly-appearing glowing orbs. You should check this comic book out if you like comics, and if you don’t like comic books then this comic may change your mind.


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