Story by Brian Buccellato, Jennifer Young
Art by Matias Bergara
Cover by Matias Bergara
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: November 9, 2016
When I last visited Willow, Danny—an acquaintance of the Hansen family—returned to town under suspicious circumstances, looking for Grady; Cash’s girlfriend Jolene had gone missing, with foul play a definite possibility, and the townsfolk in an uproar over their town’s first known cannibal attack. Cannibal #2 picks up with Danny’s sister—along with his young son—looking for him, and the police trying to determine what exactly happened to Jolene.
Cannibal #2 gives us further insight into how much control some people have over the cannibal virus that infects them. They all have a ravenous desire for flesh, but for some, that does not mean they feel a need to kill when they need to feed. However, as you will soon find out, cannibals are not the focus of of this series, but rather the people of Willow.
The Writing of Cannibal #2
In Cannibal #2, Buccellato and Young chose to continue to focus on relationships between people. As we gleaned from the first issue of Cannibal, this is not Danny’s first time disappearing. We have no idea why yet, but Cannibal #2 tells us what he might be giving up on. His motivations for disappearing may still be unknown but his story is becoming more interesting. Cash is beside himself with worry that his hopeful fiancée has gone missing and suspects her ex. It becomes clear in this issue of Cannibal, Cash is the most impulsive of the Hansen family. His brother Grady and father Roy do their best to keep him in check. Even in the midst of the world falling apart, they are much too stubborn to let themselves fall into anarchy.
As I alluded to in my review of Cannibal #1, character development would be essential to ensuring this is a book I would continue to read. Buccellato and Young have stated they wanted this to be an anti-apocalypse story focusing on the characters and their reactions to the events, rather than the events themselves. Even so, it would be easy to fall into torture porn territory but this issue of Cannibal shows the writers want to tell a more intelligent story.
The Artwork of Cannibal #2
Bergara’s artwork in Cannibal #2 has not lost any of the mystique he showed in the first issue of Cannibal. Cannibal’s story is one about people and that is where the focus lies. The linework focuses more on facial detail rather than making the background look picture perfect. This allows the reader to focus on what a character feels about a situation, rather than the situation itself.
The colour choices within Cannibal #2 are also engrossing. In one scene that stood out, Cash brutally assaults another resident of Willow. To me, his choice of a red and orange gradient background calls to mind fire, heat, and passion. Was this what the artist was going for in the scene? Maybe, maybe not. When I first saw the scene, my focus was the anger on Cash’s face; in particular, the details of the gritted teeth and the narrow eyes. The second time, when I took more notice of the colours, I thought this is more than anger. Cash is desperate to find Jolene; he is in love with her. When you look at this scene, it may invoke something different inside of you, because good artwork invokes different feelings within different people. Moreover, great artwork invokes new feelings every time you look at it.
Final Thoughts on Cannibal #2
Cannibal #2 shows that the series is more than cannibals; this is not a mindless horror survivalist story. This series is about people and their relationships. This issue is full of examples of how both writing and artwork can be used to tell, not just a story, but more about the people within the story. If you are looking for a series that lets you get invested in people, this is the book for you.
Cannibal #3 hits shelves December 7, 2016.
*Unless otherwise noted, all comics I (Bradley) review are provided by Freakshow Comics in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada*