Night Owl Society #2
Writer: James Venhaus
Art: Pius Bak
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Reviewed by Greg Brothers
As I have written about in other reviews one of the hardest things to do in comics is to take a brand-new series and write the first issue. You must find that perfect balance to introducing the major players and giving the reader an idea of what tone the comic is going to take moving forward. As difficult as writing the number one issue can be, the second issue can be even more difficult. You should take the parts that worked in the first issue and expand and explore while not overwhelming the readers with too much. Finding that balance is also imperative as readers may give a series a second issue to prove itself, but it is the second issue that will decide if they continue with the series.
Night Owl Society #2, picks up at an undisclosed time after the end of the first issue. The kids have established a routine and continue to interfere in the dealing of the local mob. While the missions continue to go off without a hitch, a secret that Davis has been keeping from the rest of the team causes some friction and threatens the future of the young crime fighters. While the team works to try, and hide their identity, by the end it seems that they may have not been as careful as they needed to be.
With Night Owl Society #2, Venhaus takes the groundwork from the first issue and expands and defines the characters within the book. One of the threads that is followed is how Father Shawn was murdered. By going back and showing exactly what happened Venhaus does a couple of things, one it gives the reader the reasoning for the murder, and it shows the brutality that this local mob is willing to go to reach their goals.
While the development of the criminals is taken to the next level, the same cannot be said for the Night Owl Society. With the jump in time the team has already become comfortable in their roles so we are robbed of watching each of the student’s development into their current role. The only intriguing part with the Society comes when the secret that David has been keeping from the other comes out and increases the tension between the members.
Bak’s art feels like it takes a step back here. While the art was not particularly advanced in previous issues, at times the muddled faces takes away from the story telling. A little bit more emotion n would have gone a long way to connecting the intensity of some of the panels. The panel layout continues to play out in a traditional manner and does very little to take away from or provide unique perspectives.
Check it out! If you have already read issue number one then it is worth picking up, Night Owl Society #2. The reveal of how the Priest was murderer gives the reader a good feeling of what the gang is all about, but the jump in time removes the reader’s ability to get to know more about the students. Being exposed to that relationship would have allowed the eventual argument between the team to have a much bigger impact on the story, instead it feels anti-climactic. The muddle mess of the art really hurts this issue. If extra time would have been made to make the panels a bit sharper then it would have had a much more positive effect on the story telling.