In Review: Bad Reception #2

The cast is introduced so the terror can begin.

The cover: A cellphone is held before the reader. The hand holding it is red, with a forest’s branches seen within it. The instrument is black but has a red hashtag scrawled onto it in blood, with flecks of the liquid also on the device. The background is black with blood splayed about. I don’t know what this signifies, but it’s obviously not something good. Strange and creepy cover by series creator Juan Doe. Overall grade: A-

The story: The wedding between Gaia and Blaise occurs with her father giving the first toast. The old man tells way too much about his past and how he went to prison for the monetary crimes he committed against his daughter, but he’s willing to put it all aside for his daughter’s marriage. Every character raises their glass and their thoughts are revealed: Tommy the photographer thinks of nothing as he snaps pictures, Chef Ignacio Monteverde can only think of the meal that he’s prepared, Liz Ritz ponders of the number of followers her client Gaia will lose for not putting this service online, Damaris Vega thinks her friend Gaia looks beautiful, director Aaron Darron hopes they like the books he brought as gifts, fighter Jurek is just pleased to be there, while his date Anastasia Pekarov is upset that Gaia took their phones once they arrived. The newlyweds thank everyone for coming and invite them to eat and drink, all while Tommy snaps pictures. The guests mingle and reveal their characters to each other and the reader. Liz is the most unhappy person there, taking her anger out on another guest. Tommy goes into the dark room to develop the pictures he’s taken when something goes horribly wrong. This is a character development issue from writer Juan Doe, with the first murder occurring. It’s a neat read, but not as much tension as I was expecting. With the characters introduced and defined, I’m hoping for more scares in the next installment. Overall grade: B-

The art and colors: All the visuals are created by Juan Doe. The twelve panels that open the first page are a neat way to show the ceremony and the reactions from the guests. I like that Tommy got his own panel, seeing as how he’s been hired for the event. The first panel that crosses over Pages 2 and 3 is a Who’s Who moment for the reader to clearly see all the guests. I like how Anastasia is the only one not toasting the couple. The panel underneath these characters is a throwback to the previous issue when the hulking killer made his way through the woods. The house is bathed in an overpowering red to symbolize the approaching horrors. When the couple speaks to their guests they have a royal gold behind them, while the small panels that show Tommy’s actions are in a harsh red. When Liz speaks to a guest the sky behind her is a fiery orange, adding to her strong personality. Tommy’s dark room is bathed in different shades of red, so as not to spoil the unexposed film and also to add to the shock of the action that occurs. I like the yellows used for the unnamed narrator, giving his speech a disturbed tone. When a character discovers the first body some striking violets are used to color the background; purple and crimson make for a very cool and very disturbing combination. The transition between Pages 15 and 16 is fantastic! The final page is a full-paged splash of the guests learning of the tragedy that’s occurred. Very nice. I’m liking the art, but hoping there are more scares in the next issue. Overall grade: A

The letters: Also created by Juan Doe, this issue’s text consists of dialogue and narration (the same font), sounds, a movie poster’s text, a yell, and the tease for next issue. The dialogue and narration are differed by their balloon, boxes, and colors. I would have preferred different fonts, but this works. There are a few sounds and they punctuate the action. The movie poster text looks cool. Overall grade: B

The final line: The cast is introduced so the terror can begin. This issue has a very Agatha Christie feel as the guests and newlyweds converse, revealing their personalities. The visuals are terrific, with the first killing striking. Enjoyable, but I’m hoping for more action in the next installment. Overall grade: B

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Bad-Reception-2/digital-comic/800827?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see the cover visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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