After a cracking opening issue #1 released at Glasgow Comic Con last year – Gary Chudleigh & Tanya Roberts hit us with issue #2 of Plagued: The Miranda Chronicles.
While issue #1 closed out with Mackie, Miranda and Dex the talking dog heading to save their first city and the unlikely team-up of a Witch and ex-Witch Hunter sees the high life of saving the day hit the wall of reality. These tired, weary wanna-be-heroes are fighting to survive as well as fighting the good fight against the Renco company……and although this second issue has far less all-out action than that first issue there’s a feeling of a larger world being developed here.
Camp-fire quests to open the last tin of beans and trying to keep watch while fending of the want to sleep give the team the chance to grow the two main characters. We learn a bit more about their backgrounds which is directly tied to the new character introduced – Salem. he’s an “ex” Witch-Hunter who knows Mackie all too well but his innocent motives seem far more dubious when he’s left alone with Mackie & Dex. Becoming much darker in tone as a result but it clearly gives us a glimpse of the possibilities open to Gary & Tanya for which direction they can take the book in.
Gary writes the same slick dialogue that feels natural between the two main characters and the addition of Salem & the occasional quip from Dex gives a good mix of moods to the book. Tanya’s artwork matches those moods effortlessly as she makes me more & more of a fan of her work with each panel. While I was converted quickly in the opening issue from thinking it could be too cartoony but there’s now no question of who should be doing the art for this. Colin Bell adds the final touch with his lettering skills and that’s another issue to file under the “must recommend” list which is already creaking under the weight of quality indie titles.
The story builds, the world begins to grow and the characters deepen as Plagued hits it’s stride and opens up Gary & Tanya’s choices as they leave us on a crucial “What happens next?” vibe in the last few panels that brings that frustratingly enjoyable need to read the next issue.