In Review: Willow #2

The covers: Two outstanding choices. David Mack did the Regular cover and it has a close up of Willow in pale violet and yellow on white; it’s similar in style to Issue 1′s cover. Very Black Orchid, Vertigo, Circa 1990′s. The snake is a nice touch and does appear, somewhat, in this book. The Alternate cover is by Megan Lara and this is the best cover featuring Miss Rosenberg that I’ve ever seen. This is tee shirt, poster, print quality. More please! Overall grades: Regular A and Alternate A+

The story: Picking up from last issue, Willow, new companion Marrak, and “Caterpillar Guy” are about to get munched by a giant Hyberrax. It seems for a moment that one character is dead, but Willow to the rescue! even if the results are a tad on the messy side. Her quest continues after a minor speed bump with some feathered fiends, and Will is reunited with an old friend. Introductions are made with new characters, a raunchy joke or two, and a spell is cast that doesn’t have the desired results. Jeff Parker continues this neat story of Willow in her element, while creating an interesting environment and cast of characters that will, hopefully, be able to visit Earth soon. Overall grade: A+

The art: I haven’t enjoyed a fantasy world like this so much since Ernie Colon was on the original run of DC’s Amethyst. Penciller Brian Ching and inker Jason Gorder do an amazing job of creating fantasy characters that can be comedic or frightening. For example, check out the first four pages. That Hyberrax is scary, but designed oh so awesomely! Page 4 is graphic as all get out, but panels four and five are hilarious! And the way in which magic is shown, always a tricky propostion in any format, is gorgeous. And things only improve when Willow and Marrak reach the final setting: it’s epic perfection. This artistic duo can do no wrong. Overall grade: A+

The colors: Go-to Buffyverse colorist Michelle Madsen has an absolute field day in each lovingly colored panel. Again, the first four pages are a testament to her skills, but let’s just look at Page 1. It highlights a gigantic beast with its many different colors, Willow’s magical burst is electric, and the sound effects are also colored! This is how fantasy books should be colored: bright, bold, and beautiful! Overall grade: A+

The letters: Go-to Buffyverse letterers Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt do a bang-up job as well! Great dialogue and terrific sound effects: “WHHOOMM” is a comic book junkie’s wet dream! Overall grade: A+

The final line: Funny, frightening, freaky fantasy that will make you wonder why Willow wasn’t in her own series long ago. Overall grade: A+

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