In Review: Herald: Lovecraft and Tesla #2

A fun story with two strong personalities trying to discover how a supernatural creature came to Earth.

The cover: Lovecraft stands at attention, facing the reader, while Tesla sits studying a book. Neither is acknowledging the other’s existence which is a shame because as Tesla’s machine crackles with energy an enormous creature is approaching the pair from behind. Good cover by Tom Rogers clearly shows both leads and aspects of their character, Tesla’s machine and H.P.’s creature. Having read the issue, this sums up both nicely. I wanted the color to be titch brighter as the dark colors, including the title, make a focus difficult. Overall grade: B

The story: Picking up from the previous issue, Howard and Nikola are being attacked by a creature in Lovecraft’s basement, while his mother tells the two “kids” to keep it down. H.P. uses magical energy from his hands to attack the beast, while Tesla uses a handheld device to blast electricity at it. The creature collapses under the onslaught. Howard’s comment “I thought mi-go’s were tougher than that,” precedes the creatures reawakening, as it lunges at Tesla. He’s unable to get his electrical device pointed at the creature in time, and he falls on his back with the monster atop him. Howard tells Nikola to cover his head with his hands, and the writer projects a lethal blast at the creature, leaving it smoldering. Tesla is fascinated by the creature, though Lovecraft is more concerned with the destruction of his one hundred dollar typewriter. The two make formal introductions and Howard begins to explain the origin of the creature, just as something traumatic occurs. Writer John Reilly goes through the opening pages at a quick clip, introducing a fair justification for the two to remain together. I like the change in point of view in the final two panels on page 5, altering viewers that all is not well. There’s a subtle sequence on Page 10 that rears one of Lovecraft’s sins that have taken up much time on the Internet of late. Tesla comes off as the more sympathetic character than Lovecraft, and he’s singularly focused on truth through science. It’s the latter of the pair that drives the story forward. The individual that the pair meet on Page 14 is appropriately stuffy and vain, which is the perfect foil for Lovecraft to encounter. Page 19 is just silly, and I wish it hadn’t been in the book. This installment ends on an excellent cliffhanger and I foresee a body count for next issue. Overall grade: A-

The art: Tom Rogers is the penciller and Dexter Weeks provides inks on this issue’s visuals. The layout of the pages is good, which has some nice overlapping of panels (Page 3’s fourth and fifth panels) and some really cool panel configuration to show a change in point of view (Page 5). The characters aren’t bad, but they are very simple. The majority of the characters are drawn either in tight close-up, displaying only their faces, or from the waist up. To put shade onto the characters’ faces several heavy, straight lines are used. Rogers and Weeks still have their characters showing a nice range of emotions, as evidenced on the trolley. Their settings are very well drawn. I was impressed with the details put into Lovecraft’s residence and the location the pair go to. The mi-go is a nice creation, a combination of animal parts that shouldn’t be functioning correctly. Lovecraft’s creatures are notoriously vague in their descriptions, but this looks like something that’s stepped out of his stories. My favorite pages are 20 and 21, which have nine panels on each page and show the leads working independently but toward the same goal. It’s a very good way to show their differences and similarities. Overall grade: B+

The colors: Very bright colors from Dexter Weeks. In the opening sequence, both Lovecraft and Tesla’s energies are striking, and the mi-go is perfect in its crustacean colors. Some panels have very bright backgrounds to break away from the conservative colors of the time. I really liked the coloring in those final two panels on 5, which only strengthened the change in point of view. I did find it a little odd with some of the sunshine effects behind characters, such as the fifth panel on page 14. The final three pages nicely create scenes at night without sacrificing the art in the process. Overall grade: B+

The letters: Also creating the dialogue and sounds of this issue is Dexter Weeks (What can’t he do?). The dialogue is easy to read and the noise from the mi-go is creepy. Nicely done all around. Overall grade: B+

The final line: A fun story with two strong personalities trying to discover how a supernatural creature came to Earth. Good visuals and strong colors make this enjoyable to view. Worth checking out. Overall grade: B+

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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