Issue: The Anchor #2
Release Date: November 11, 2009
Writer: Phil Hester
Artist: Brian Churilla
Covers: Brian Churilla (Colors: Matthew Wilson)
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Johnny Lowe
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
With issue two, we are beginning to see some of “Clem’s” backstory, yet getting very few answers. But, then again, this is only the second issue. What the reader does get, however, is some character development and a better sense of who Clem is. He may have washed ashore carrying an anchor and now fights demons, but he has an almost overwhelming gentleness to him. He might fight demons, but he has no joy in it. He seeks them out because that is his duty, not because he likes kicking ass (which he does pretty effectively, I might add).
The supporting characters in this issue are “Little Saint” and Clem’s apparent companion, Hofi Eriksdotter. Hofi determines right off that she is not just going to be a witness to strange goings on, she is going to see the world through Clem’s eyes. Plus, someone has to be there to help him clean up the blood when gaping wounds open up for no apparent reason, or something. I still can’t seem to care much about Hofi. If her reasons were selfish, like she wants to know what is going on, fine, but there is something clearly supernatural about Clem, and he’s been taking care of himself for quite some time, so the fact that she’s a nurse doesn’t really seem to be adding anything. We’ll see how she develops.
“Little Saint,” the ghost of a young boy killed by the demon Clem goes to fight in Scotland, is a compelling character, on the other hand. You are immediately drawn to him, you feel sympathy for him when Clem finds him waiting for his father (who was also killed by the demon). Here is where Clem’s gentleness truly shines: when it is time to take down the demon, Clem tells “Little Saint” to close his eyes — even dead little boys don’t need to see the kind of carnage he’s about to unleash.
As I mentioned before, in this issue we only get a glimpse of where Clem came from, but we get to learn quite a bit about who he is as a character. His past is compelling and his dual nature seems to be causing trouble for demons on Earth and in the Borderlands between Hell and our backyard. I want to learn more about him and his past, even if that means I have to put up with Hofi.
Again, with this issue, the art is AMAZING. I absolutely love the style, the colors, everything. Everything except Hofi. I am totally not kidding. While she is a little less angular, she still isn’t very appealing (but she is a little cross-eyed sometimes). So far I have really liked the designs for characters and creatures alike. All I can really say here is keep up the great work, because other than Hofi, I can’t find anything I don’t like. Perhaps my favorite page was the full reveal of the Scottish demon. I appreciated the detail given it, and the negative space around it so nothing was taking my attention away from the monster itself. On the whole, the art and design is just very well done.
The first issue piqued my interest and the second issue kept me reading. While we were give a little bit of his background, Clem is still more mystery than anything else. I, for one, cannot wait to read more. I do kind of hope that Hofi gets better or is faded out, but that is really the only detractor in my opinion. This looks like it’s going to be a great comic for folks who like action mixed with mythology with strong characters throughout. The Anchor is a must read.
Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars