Tales From the Darkside #2
Writer: Joe Hill
Adaptation: Michael Benedetto
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Ryan Hill
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Reviewed by David Hildebrand
The first issue of Tales From the Darkside grabbed you from the start and didn’t let go. I was looking forward to the second issue, Joe Hill tells a good story and with the combination of Gabriel Rodriguez illustrating, I don’t feel that anyone can go wrong with this book. However this issue takes the momentum a couple of paces back and becomes a slow burn.
This story, titled “The Black Box” is part one of a two part story and the issue slowly builds up to what I hope is a really exciting climax. We follow Newman early on in his youth, playing a game of Monopoly with his friends. He needs to roll snake eyes to skip certain bankruptcy in the game. One of the kids he is playing with tosses the dice under the table they are playing on. Newman goes to fetch them and there is a demon or ghoul like presence under the table holding the dice telling Newman ” I fix them for you. Go Play, we will be Big Winners today”. Newman hits the snake eyes and goes into a seizure.
The story fast forwards to Newman as an adult. He is fired by his employer because of these supernatural occurrences happened with him present and his employer cannot deal with the consequences. He still gets seizures, he has been checked out, but doctors cannot supply a reason for his medical condition. After being terminated from his job, Newman encounters a gentleman that reminded me of Agent Smith in the Matrix. He can fix Newman, but it will take surgery. The story slowing builds. Newman is fascinated with solving Rubik’s cubes and this demon/ghoul is constantly with him. I do hope that the Part 2 goes into greater detail about Newman’s condition and his obsession with Rubik’s cubes. Hill is building a good foundation and Bendetto has done a fine job adapting it, but I feel like something is missing that I cannot put my finger on just yet. Rodriguez’s artwork really carries the story. His detail to the monsters and demons make it look like they can jump off the page. They are creepy, menacing, and adds some of the spark to what is missing. The colors by Hill are very solid, they help detail and bring Rodriguez’s art to life.
Buy It! However, I am cautious in saying that because the whole issue sets the tone for what is to come later. But with the entire issue not getting into conflict of any sort, I fear that the second issue will just be a rush to fit the middle and end into one book. So if you like anthologies and Tales From the Darkside, it is a no brainer in picking this up. If you are looking for more horror and action then approach carefully. It doesn’t contain the same satisfaction that the first story had in issue 1.