Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Jorge Coelho
Colours by Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Published by BOOM! Studios
John Flood #2 kicks right back into the story built from the last issue that is less of a focus on the serial killer hunt and more of an exploration into the relationship between John Flood and Alex Berry. Lyta, Flood’s assistant, is missing from this issue but will surely come back in the near future. The knowledge of understanding how Lyta and Flood came to work together would be a story surely worth finding out about.
Justin Jordan’s script continues to shine in pacing from the fast nature of the introductory issue, slowing down a bit but necessary in furthering out some character development. His handle on Flood as a character appears so comfortable, coming up with some very timely one liners that are enhanced by the detailed facial expressions of Jorge Coelho’s lines.
The issue begins with the mysterious serial killer snapping the neck of an innocent individual, claiming the man’s living space as the killer’s temporary home. The beefy proportioned killer treats the act without emotion, poking at the dead man’s face and rocking back and forth on a chair while he talks to an unknown handler of some sort; a very chilling scene indeed. The motives of this killer are still unknown, as every time he graces the pages, a heightened sense of fear and atmosphere are truly felt.
The majority of this issue finds Flood and Berry on the hunt for a missing cat named Arlo Guthrie. What might sound like a bottle episode for a procedural television program turns into a highly entertaining adventure. Flood and Berry get to, as Flood puts it, get their “Ace Ventura on.” A few tidbits of information are dove into as Berry’s past is very briefly shown as well as the not-so-quite comprehensible process of how Flood knows exactly where this missing cat’s thief can be found. Withholding from explaining Flood’s abilities adds to the comedy of the series and is not necessarily something that needs to be explored yet. Flood’s explanation to Berry on how he acquires this information is shown across a double page spread that playfully frames the sleepless man’s perspective. As Flood puts it, his mind doesn’t exactly connect A to B but instead goes “from ‘A’ to ‘Q’ to ‘Banana’ instead.” There is a nice, laugh out loud moment that makes a nod to the film Up as well.
Coelho’s greatly detailed lines continue to impress throughout this issue. Berry appears a little oddly proportioned, almost looking like Ben Grimm minus the rocky surface. The awkwardness of Berry’s appearance in comparison to Flood does add a bit to the comedy of the series, as Berry’s chiseled looks and bulk body compared to Flood’s deep, baggy sleeplessness eyes and slender frame make them appear like some comedy/detective hybrid duo. It is impressive to note the extensive line work that Coelho does with the surroundings of the frames, creating as much texture and realism to the wooden tables, furry flood rugs, and shadows within the wide frames.
Tamra Bonvillain’s colours add vibrancy to the pages with the use of quite the wide variety of a colour palette. The respect for Coelho’s lines and shadows alongside Bonvillain’s bright blue sky make way for darker and more menacing blues and purples with more intensive shadow work once Flood and Berry make their way to the seedy interiors of the cat thief’s apartment (and a frame that will have all cat people squeal with uber levels of cuteness). Her colours do a great job of indicating the flow and passing of time as well, as the warm reds and yellows give way to the colder colours of the night.
Ed Dukeshire does a great job with letters, layering multiple bubbles of dialogue as Flood and Berry quip at each other in rapid-fire succession. The pacing and placement of the dialogue never feels heavy amongst the frames and truly adds to the flow of the issue.
John Flood #2 takes a step back from the main narrative of the opening issue but has enough inclusion of the serial killer, including quite the final page, to really heat things up in anticipation for the next issue.