Bone Parish #2: Shadows continues the story of the Winters family and their booming drug industry selling The Ash, a hot, new hallucinogenic made from the ashes of the dead. One of their drug dealers has died from an overdose, their family isn’t always in-sync about how to handle their future, and some drug cartels are eyeing their rising empire. And, a plot like this wouldn’t be complete without a couple of detectives investigating the drug-related deaths – even if those detectives may be on opposing sides of the law.
Whereas Issue #1 moved quickly and introduced the reader to several characters, this second installment in a 12-issue run takes a beat to dive deeper into family relations and the characters surrounding them. It is a much-needed part of the story so the reader can connect – although I’m still not quite sure which character to root for. At first, I felt a ping of sympathy for Brigitte Winters, being the scientist and mind behind The Ash and seemingly neglected by the rest of her family. Yet, as this comic reveals, her past may be much darker than anyone could have imagined, and though her part of the story is still quite mysterious, she takes disturbing to a whole new level.
But, that’s part of the beauty of this comic. The good guys are sparse, if they exist at all, while an overabundance of sketchy characters come forward to tell us why each one may be worse than the other. This issue flows seamlessly between past and present, giving the reader better insight into some of the characters, while keeping us grounded in the hallucinogenic, yet realistic, terror The Ash brings its victims. Writer Cullen Bunn outdoes himself in this issue by making it better than the first and giving the reader a whole new reason to keep coming back. The macabre and gruesomeness of the story keep surfacing amidst all of the crime, reminding us why Bunn is one of the top horror writers today.
Artist Jonas Scharf continues to hold up his end of the comic by providing graphics gorgeous enough to whisk the reader into the world of The Ash. When the past and present come together in the story, some panels flow to others down the page, creating a visual feast for the reader as they follow along. The hallucination scenes continue to stand out in not only the way they are drawn, but the beautiful colors, compliments of Alex Guimãraes. Those panels make the reader feel as if they are experiencing The Ash first-hand.
Bone Parish #2: Shadows keeps this gruesome tale moving right along, making it even more difficult to wait for the next installment. Maybe I’m a bit spoiled by binge-watching, but I wish BOOM! would just drop the next ten issues of this series tomorrow, so this Cullen Bunn junkie can get her fix and find out what happens next in the world of The Ash.
Creative Team: Cullen Bunn (writer), Jonas Scharf (artist), Alex Guimãraes (colorist), Ed Dukeshire (letterer), Lee Garbett (cover artist), Tyler Crook (variant cover artist)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Click here to purchase.