Review – Proctor Valley Road #2
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Illustrator: Naomi Franquiz
Colourist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Release Date: April 14th 2021
August, Rylee, Cora and Jennie are back again exploring America’s most haunted road in ‘Proctor Valley Road #2’. The next issue of the new horror limited series from writer Grant Morrison and up and comer Alex Child. With the creative team of artist Naomi Franquiz (Tales from Harrow County), colorist Tamra Bonvillain and letterer Jim Campbell.
If you’d like to know what the story is so far you can check out the Review of issue 1 available here. This review will spoil the plot for the first issue and some of issue two so be warned!
August, Rylee, Cora & Jennie are the prime suspects in the disappearance of the missing boys, after taking them on a ‘Spook Tour’. As the town closes in on the girls, August makes a choice to visit that haunted road one last time. However, there seems to be more than meets the eye on America’s most haunted road.
Morrison and Child have hit it out the park again with ‘Proctor Valley Road #2’, building upon the ominous tone in the first issue. This issue really leans into all the supernatural elements set up in issue one, especially when August visits the road and all sorts of supernatural fiends come out the woodwork. After issue one the main four are accused of Smuggling draft dodgers over the border, after the boys they took on their spook tour have gone missing. This leads to a funny opening page comprised of panels with each of the girls undergoing interrogation by local law enforcement..
This opening page builds upon the characterisation presented by Morrison and Child in the opening issue, giving each of the girls a unique and interesting personality. We also get to see each of the characters home lives, building a connection to the characters in only a few pages, showing the masterful writing technique of Morrison and Child. This issue also features more action than the last with Morrison and Child presenting an excellent action set piece towards the end of the issue set to Janis Joplin’s “Little Girl Blue”, highlighting the 1970’s setting of the boo. Plus the main characters using a VW Camper Van to knock down some Giant “Coyotes”, hammers home the stylised 70’s action elements of the story.
The Allusions to certain historical events of the time does a really great job of setting the scene for the story such as the use of the term ‘shirkers’ to describe draft dodgers of the Vietnam War. Morrison and Child also appear to make reference to the 1970 ‘Hard Hat Riot’, a famous anti-war riot, in the form of a radio broadcast. This sly reference to political issues of the time, including Anti-War sentiment of the 70’s falls in line with Morrison’s usual satire of political and social issues.
As with the last issue Naomi Franquiz does a fantastic job of encapsulating the nostalgia of 1970’s as well as creating a unique period appropriate style associated with each character. As I said in my last review the drawings are akin to old Scooby-Doo cartoons and this is true for the human characters. However, when some of the monsters begin to show up their art is rougher and more brutal, presenting a sense of death, decay and dread that should be associated with the supernatural.
As I’ve said in previous reviews, Tamra Bonvillain’s colouring work is always a joy to look at and ‘Proctor Valley Road #2’ is no exception. The dusty pallet of pastel greens, yellows and reds really captures the look of a sleepy suburban American town in the mid 1970’s. The drastic change in colours between the human and monster characters in this issue is superb. With the main four taking on a dusty pallet of pastel greens, yellows, whereas the monsters have colours such as blue, purple, black and a sickly green that are used to intensify their otherworldly appearance.
As with the first issue Morrison and Child have done a fantastic job of presenting an engaging story, that hooks the reader from the start of the issue. As the story begins to explore the supernatural more I think the it can only get better. The art is fantastic, and the colouring is superb, with both of these combined presenting another stylistic and eye-catching issue. I am very excited to see how the story of ‘Proctor Valley Road’ continues and how the book will most likely only jump from stength to strength as a limited series.
For a preview of ‘Proctor Valley Road #3’ Check out our post on the site here!
If You have any thoughts on ‘Proctor Valley Road’ #2′ or about this review, leave your comments below.
To purchase ‘Proctor Valley Road #1’ for yourself, you can can find it at all good comicbook retailers and on Comixology.
If you want to read more reviews on Grant Morrison books check out our reviews of ‘JLA: Earth 2’ or ‘All Star Superman’ and ‘Proctor Valley Road #1’. To look for more work by Tamra Bonvillain Check out ‘Once and Future’ Volume 1 and Volume 2 available on the Website.
Listen to Massimo, AmericIan and Alan discussing ‘Proctor Valley Road’ #1 (amongst other things) on the third episode of our podcast, BGCP: Disassembled.
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