Picking right up where it left off, Specs #2 examines the aftermath of a monkey’s paw wish that, obviously, went very wrong. With a mere wish, Kenny and Ted wished the school bully out of existence, which is pretty horrific if you think about the people who might actually care for Skunk, bully or not. The horror is not lost on the two best friends as they struggle to move forward, all the while feeling like Damocles’ sword might be hanging over their heads. In a fateful wish to help his friend, and probably to help himself, too, Kenny makes a wish that will change their lives forever.
David. M Booher’s script is tense with the fear of having wished someone out of existence, and it’s further ripened with the anxiety of teenage lust and fear of being found out. To round it all out, he even slips in a note of racial prejudice which should not have been missed in the first issue either and in very few words (and a poignant moment of silence) spells out White privilege. In short, this is a beautifully written second issue, pushing the story forward and laying down the stakes because overlaid with the opening sequence of the first issue, we know that things aren’t going to be rosy for quite a bit.
Chris Shehan’s artwork retains all its beauty from the previous issue, but there are some moments in here that really gave me pause. The page where Kenny and Ted explore White privilege is one… there’s such palpable tension between the two in their body language. That naturalness is carried throughout the book. Roman Stevens’ colorwork is again such a cool “language” that I think we innately understand from a glance. The palette evokes nostalgia as well as the “horror/thriller” genre, and it needs no introduction. Jim Campbell’s lettering effectively captures the vibe and the tone of the book, so that we’re always clued in on the emotional landscape of the two protagonists.
Final thoughts: If the first issue was a homerun, this one raises the stakes even more. I’m bad with sports analogies, so please just accept my terrible baseball/poker crossover.
Creative Team: David M. Booher, Chris Shehan (artist), Roman Stevens (colors), Jim Campbell (letterer)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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