The Nice House on the Lake #2 – James Tynion IV, Writer; Alvaro Martinez Bueno, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Two episodes in, this new Black Label series is probably the most effective horror story in comics in a long time. Equal parts apocalyptic thriller and Millennial Lord of the Flies, it starts with a brilliantly simple concept–a group of old friends and strangers bound by a mysterious benefactor find themselves at a luxurious lake house for the end of the world. This is only as good as the characters it features, and Tynion has already managed to flesh a lot of the leads out effectively. We start with a prologue as another of the cast flashes back to their time with Walter, and we see that the young tech magnate was troubled and haunted even then. In the presence, his surprise appearance caused chaos and left one member of the cast seriously wounded. I was glad Norah wasn’t taken out of the story for any length of time, and her injury only seems to deepen her cynicism–something she shares with other guests.
This is probably the most bleak and haunting depiction of the apocalypse I can remember in a long time. Last issue we only saw glimpses of it through social media, and that was horrific enough. The trickle of information continues, until it comes through in a burst at the end of the issue. What makes this book so terrifying is that it’s really not scary at all–until it is, and then it really is. It doesn’t use cheap jump scares, but instead lets us fill in the blanks on our own for the most part and uses the inherent horror and helplessness of the scenario seep through. As some characters sink into despair, others start scheming how to make the situation work for them. In the hands of Tynion and Martinez Bueno, things as simple as schedules become terrifying, and a pastoral lake house can feel as haunted as any gothic mansion. DC might have the beginnings of a new masterpiece on their hands.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.