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Within this issue, Alan Moore sparks controversy with some of the content in the latter part of the comic. The comic includes nudity, sexual activity and acts of sexual violence. Whilst controversy can attract lots of readers just to see what the dilemma is, it does not always mean it is for the better. I’ll explain that later on.
The series continues to follow agents Gordon and Merril, now with a lead connecting a series of crimes. Merril works out that they are all somehow influenced by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft; in turn this leads them to a sex shop that is purely for H.P. Lovecraft fanatics. Going undercover they wish to check it out and discover the owners and regular customers are part of a sex cult. Things from there make a turn for the worst.
As with the last issue, Alan Moore continues to have a problem with pacing. Like the previous issue, scenes (especially towards the end) feel dragged out and unnecessary. I mentioned with Neonomicon #1, the suspense that was built up by the end was greatly executed. The problem here, all that suspense is just left hanging in the air and almost forgotten, as Merril seems to connect all the dots within a couple of sentences.
With the story of this issue, I again felt disappointed. Moore falls into the typical undercover agent tale that a writer of his caliber should know how to avoid. That aside, the story takes a turn that can be offensive and considered not to be needed whatsoever. Moore also makes another change with his second issue. In the last, the H.P. Lovecraft elements were subtle whereas in this one, they are blown straight out of their shadows and revealed by the second page. Then on, each hinting to H.P. Lovecraft is spoon fed to the reader. The dark irony that he puts the character Merril through was well executed, if not disturbing.
Jacen Burrows’ artwork on the other hand steps up in performance. Burrows’ ability to make people look realistic and menacing is extraordinary. To draw realistic looking naked bodies and yet stay away from the usual superhuman or extremely busty physique is a great talent that this man has. Burrows also does a great job for all the background work done in each panel, with slight detail that may sometimes distract the reader from the events just to take in the artwork itself.
Juanmar studios again does an excellent job with coloring, using the dark palette to give an eerie feel to the comic. The best coloring job in this issue would have to be the work done on the water, looking quite realistic.
In all I felt that this comic was mainly a letdown from the last issue. Apart from the fact that it may offend some readers though; it may continue to interest many wanting to finish this series.