Co-creators Edward Bentley & Daniel Earey hit us with a quirky LGBTQ+ horror comedy in the opening issue of Darkboy & Adler and I was well overdue a look at what happened next.
While that first issue introduced us to Adler and his ill-advised willingness to repeat voodoo incantations – the fallout from that saw a coming of age LGBTQIA+ story of love evolve into a horror comedy with a ton of different ideas firing thick and fast. This second issue eases us back into that world and the weird is being stepped up a number of gears quicker than you can imagine with the discovery of an underground world of mutants lead by the cruel & lust-filled Duke Pork.
That slippery slope sees the titular duo being dragged into a world where no one expected things to go (including me) and the relentless pace of things barely gives you enough of a chance to catch your breath. Adler himself is increasingly driven to try and get his hands on the love of his life and all while Darkboy is looking to hit that next target with the bazooka he has cocked and ready. The risks surrounding them drive home the chance that they may not actually survive every confrontation but that potential car crash vibe makes sure that you can’t help but read on to find out for sure.
The story & events are OTT to the Nth degree but the chaos has a vein of clarity that keeps things surprisingly grounded with a hook in some sort of reality – even if we don’t quite know what reality that is. That anchor doesn’t rein in the ideas that are unfolding across the pages too much though and instead it allows the big plot points from Edward to hit your senses like an almost overwhelming flood.
There’s no pause to explain things in too great a detail but it instead sweeps you along for the ride to the next big reveal that you need to get your head around which in itself becomes an infectious dynamic. That’s all matched by the artwork from Edward that keeps the bold, brash elements firmly emphasized to make the absolute best of every panel and make sure you are seeing things you never expected or can believe in some instances. Edward then rounds off the creative flow of the book with some slick lettering too and having everything in the hands of a single person means things fit together exceptionally well.
Much like the opening issue, there are a sea of ideas here that may not gel together for some people but if you can go with the flow there’s no reason you can’t be swept along for a ride that’s both inventive & entertaining. Multi-layered and then some, it’s clear that the creators are going all-in on whatever idea they can think to throw at those central characters and with the visuals providing a larger than life glimpse at everything with a fully-charged energy, it’s hard not to feel like something different is on show here.
Kudos to editors Jordan Thomas & Nuala Connolly for helping to keep this at least partially grounded in a way that allows it not to run itself too out of control. Crazy fun in story & visuals, that has more than enough momentum to carry things through for the rest of the series….and beyond if they really want to grow that universe.
You can get hold of the story so far AND the latest issue through the campaign link below: