This is the best issue of Providence yet. It’s entertaining, it carries some emotional weight, and gives you a full, diverse understanding of the world it’s building. Hopefully this series continues to be as challenging and provocative moving forward. Hopefully the creators have more surprises up their sleeves. If this is the best it gets, well, that’s a little disappointing, but I can live with it. Because this issue here at least lets you know that you can hate a creator and love their creation. It is possible — as long as you’re willing to take it back from them. Art is too important to leave in just anybody’s hands. And that message is good enough.
Providence #2 continues the cycle of using a pastiche of Howard Phillips to comment upon the man’s works, and then turning around and using a pastiche of his works to comment upon Howard Phillips, the man. It’s literate and it’s dense, but it knows how to tell a classic horror story, as well. Burrows draws a damn horrible monster, and Moore knows how to indulge a horror cliché — here the “you must have bumped your head and imagined some monsters!” — to masterful effect. Providence #2 keeps the series in its place as one of the best new titles of 2015, and is putting up a good fight for some of the best stuff of its creators careers — it’s just that good.
On its surface, the story of Providence is the story of two genre fiction visionaries who in practice couldn’t be more dissimilar. One died a good decade-plus before the other was born. One wrote mostly prose fiction and probably would have despised the funny books that are the other’s stock-in-trade. One deals mostly in existential dread while the other routinely deals in sex, love, heartbreak, death, and all the messy bits of individual human existence. But Providence aims to find some middle ground between the two.