The New Deadwardians, #2 -- Dan Abnett & I.N.J. Culbard
This issue picks up not long after the first one ended: the body of the murdered man—one of the Young—is now being prepped for autopsy. Everyone is still at a loss about the hows of the death—the as-yet unidentified man hadn't been impaled, incinerated, or decapitated—let alone the whos or whys.
While we see the beginning of CI Suttle's investigation—including the identification of the victim, some research into the strange burn marks on his neck, and a conversation with his valet—as well as a bit more about Suttle's household, including Louisa's reaction to being newly-Young, this issue is really more about providing some background about the world.
Artwork? I'm still not blown away, though I just noticed that all of the Young appear to have amber-colored eyes. The faces, especially, still aren't doing much for me, though I noticed something cool: while the faces of the Young all share a bland similarity (beyond eye color, I mean), the faces of the humans are more varied, and some of them have features so exaggerated that they almost resemble caricatures.
Storyline? As this issue provided more backstory, it got a little infodumpy as it caught new readers up to speed and then introduced more history, but not in such a way that it was egregiously offensive.
I especially like this aspect of the world: the Young (vampires) and the Bright (human) are divided not only along mortal lines, but along class lines. The Young are the upper crust, and the bright are the working class. Which means that the ruling class is very concerned with keeping the details of this murder quiet—if it gets out, as Suttle's superior says, "We won't seem so bloody superhuman and immortal after all, will we?"
Keep going? While this issue didn't do a ton for me, I'm going to keep reading because I do love the premise. I hope very much that ultimately, I'll love it for the story and the characters as well. But my hopes for the series are a little less high than they were.