The macabre cover for issue two of NPLH features Dee looking scared as hell. And rightly so. A flying monkey perches over her aunt and uncle—who just happen to have their throats torn out. That’s a creepy way to hook in the reader. Does the rest of the story evoke the same tension as the cover?
Yes. As a matter of fact, it does. (Please read that line with Donald Pleasance’s voice narrating in your head. If you saw John Carpenter’sHalloween, you know it will work. Trust me.)
Sheriff Frank interrogates the town drunk, Thomas. As you may recall from the last issue, Dee found Thomas over Sue’s body. Sue had her neck torn out.
Frank, and the town of Emeraldsville want to pin the attacks on Thomas and be done with the whole grizzly ordeal. The problem is that while Thomas is locked safely away, the attacks keep happening. Thomas breaks out and abducts Lizzie, Dee, and Dee’s little dog Terry.
Thomas reveals a dirty secret about the death of Dee’s parents. And the horror retelling of The Wizard of Ozleaves off with readers wanting more.While gory at times, the strength of the book comes of from the build up of suspense. I just hope that Tirotto doesn’t hold off with the full on Oz related materials too much longer, or readers may hesitate about following further issues.
Located within this issue are great allusions to the original Oz material—if you have a keen eye to catch them. Additionally, Richard Jordan has a gift for drawing the most attractive characters. Amy’s mom wears a tight pair of jean shorts over her curvy derriere. Just when you are digging her backside, Tirotto throws in an attack that leaves Amy in a most frightening predicament. I admit I went from aroused to creeped out in twelve panels.
Admittedly, I thought that another Oz based story would be cliché. But this issue has the series gaining its unique voice and developing some scenarios that make it more enjoyable to read than most horror books on the shelves. Great work to those involved in giving me something that I haven’t read or seen before, and something that has been a pleasant surprise.
Writer: Angelo Tirotto
Art: Richard Jordan
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 3/21/12