In Review: The Mummy: Palimpsest #2

The story is good, but the visuals have got to be consistent.

The covers: The evil Egyptian High Priestess Nebetah stands seductively before the great demon dog, Ammit, that was pursuing Angel at last issue’s close. Below the monstrosity an Egyptian pays the price for being in the creature’s presence. Terrific A cover from Tom Mandrake, whose artwork is always something to seek out. He’s an artist whose work I enjoy, so his was the cover I had to purchase. The B cover is by John McCrea and features poor Angel cornered on the street by Ammit. The beast looks menacingly down upon the poor woman, its eyes are glowing orange and it is surrounded by a supernatural mist of the same color. Striking, moody piece, but too much is too difficult to make out because of the coloring. I wanted this to be a bit brighter so I could see the art’s details. Paul McCaffrey does the C cover which has Nebetah in her ceremonial garb standing before a mummy in its upright sarcophagus. She looks great and the mummy looks awesome. Both characters look as though they’ve walked out of a classic Hammer film. The final cover, the D, is by Ronilson Freire and picks up just where last issue left off: Angel pursued by Ammit. I like how his right hand (paw?) is in the foreground and Angel is being thrown forward by its impact with the ground. I also like how she’s still wearing her bandages from the ceremony. Everything about this is good, including the neat eerie green flame the creature projects. Overall grades: A A+, B C, C A, and D A

The story: Nebetah is speaking with Anubis in the Land of the Dead because the Palimpsest, the ceremony that was to have her take over Angel’s body, was unsuccessful. He tells her that there is still hope that she may return to Earth. Meanwhile in London, Angel is being pursued by Ammit as gobsmacked citizens watch the creature tear after the woman. She lunges through a window of a clothing store and remains still until the creature leaves. Grabbing a coat and a hat, Angel does the best she can to disguise herself before making for the street. Writer Peter Milligan then moves the story to two members of the Cult of Anubis who are watching the chaos on television. They explain why Ammit is unable to find Angel and foreshadow that the demon dog may come looking for them. There’s a brief interlude/flashback explaining how Nebetah got herself into the afterlife and it’s appropriately gruesome, but necessary to provide for the book’s twist. The heroic Pyramid Club makes plans to save Angel, though it’s young Duncan who’s made to do their work. On the final four pages the twist occurs and it’s like a scene from a classic movie. Milligan has introduced the protagonist to all the players, now she has to find her way out of this ancient maze of death. This issue isn’t heavy on the action as Angel needs to meet the final players, but with this part of the story completed, Milligan can start even more chaos. I’m very interested to see what he’s got planned. Overall grade: B+

The art: Ronilson Freire’s artwork reminds me very much of Tom Mandrake’s work, and that’s a positive. The first two pages are a double paged spread showing a very hellish Land of the Dead. His work on Anubis is good, though I would like to see his mouth move while he’s speaking. The first page showing Ammit chasing after Angel is good, with the final panel on Page 3 nicely going beyond its borders. The close up of the creature on 4 is excellent, and the giant foot in the second panel echoes scenes from the Jurassic Park films. Angel is very sympathetic for every panel she’s in; her choice in hats had me thinking of a famous film archaeologist. I was enjoying the book’s visuals until the Pyramid Club appeared: they look to have been drawn by a completely different artist. Page 10 has very incomplete artwork compared to previous pages. The characters’ faces are especially sketchy. Every panel on this page required more attention. Things improve dramatically on 11, but this only makes 10 look the poorer. The perspective in the large panel on 14 is poor and having the light source that bright seems intended to hide the visuals rather than enhance them. The last panel of the book should be shocking, but the colors are so dark it’s difficult to make out what’s occurring. I’m liking half of Freire’s work, while wishing the other half had been better. Overall grade: C-

The colors: Two colorists, Ming Sen & Dijjo Lima, are responsible for this book’s colors. I wish the credits stated what pages each specifically did, so I could address the correct individual. The first two pages are gorgeous. They are a perfect match for the visuals and this was the highpoint of the book. Ammit’s scenes in the streets are also well done, with him being just visible enough in the darkness to be a fright. Page 5 is just too dark. Yes, the room is realistically lit, but this is a comic book and some cheating is allowed. Page 10 is also a low point for coloring, as there’s not much shading done to create depth; this could be due to the quality of the artwork, but it looks as though no attempt was made to provide more than one shade on a character. Things vastly improve, but that panel on 14 brings the book down again. Like the art, the coloring could have been more consistent. Overall grade: C-

The letters: Dialogue, sounds, television text, a scream, yells, and the tease for next issue come courtesy of Simon Bowland. His work on this book is okay. There aren’t any opportunities for Bowland to show his craft because the story has to present so much information. I have a feeling that with the next issue Bowland will be able to insert more variety into his contributions. Overall grade: B

The final line: A decent outing, but I expect more of a Hammer related comic. The story is good, but the visuals have got to be consistent. Overall grade: B-

To order a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/The-Mummy-2/digital-comic/430651?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

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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