Writer: Steve Fox
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Colorist: Brad Simpson
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Artists: Piotr Kowalski and Brad Simpson; Trevor Henderson
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: May 24, 2023
Ten years ago, Reynolds saw something that radically changed his life. Recently, Vin joined his crusade battling New York’s giant spiders. What have their efforts cost both men? Let’s brave a look inside All Eight Eyes #2 and find out!
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Reynolds lets others believe that’s his name rather than just a name sewn on the jacket he now wears. While he’s let relationships outside the homeless community lapse, Vin tries to maintain his. The young man’s efforts to alert others to the giant spider population prove no more successful than his mentor’s. Saddened, he accompanies the man on another spider hunt. In the process, their lives will intersect with an official eyeing the greasy pole of politics and an openminded Parks & Recreation officer who’s also discovered a giant spider.
I like how Steve Foxe plays against character types in All Eight Eyes #2. I also like how he uses this familiar science fiction premise to muse on homelessness, blindness to all we choose to ignore, and the cost of obsession. Set in the Alphabet City region of New York City in 2003–rather than today–we can assume that neighborhood and period call to him.
Perhaps—like Reynolds–he’s even obsessed about it.
Piotr Kowalski’s pencil goes crazy as he draws people and settings. Clothing and foliage receive additional attention as he inks in fabric creases and defines bushes and trees. Offices, shops, and the fading grandeur of a derelict school convey reality. Glimpses of the New York City skyline—often from Tompkins Square Park—invoke the romance of the megapolis.
In All Eight Eyes #2, Reynolds’ appearance makes a comparison with the Green Arrow unavoidable. Even without a red circle surrounding his eye, the English Bull Terrier named Possom seems as adorable as his corporate cousin. Vin’s character may not align as closely with Butt-Head as that of Reynolds and Oliver Queen, but it might as well for all the respect others pay him. The trio may be unlikely heroes, but Parks & Rec. officer Dani Dominguez—a far more reputable character–could join their ranks in future issues. Given Kowalski’s attention to detail, All Eight Eyes #2 would enthrall readers as a Black & White comic. Thankfully, Brad Simpson pays equal attention to his coloring. Reynolds’ green Army jacket never blends in with nearby foliage. Vin’s red hair and boots reveal he’s not ready to fade into obscurity. The cheering evening sky can’t hide the haze hanging over the skyscrapers. I love how the blue and purple interiors of the abandoned, unillumined school never give way to gray.
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou uses uppercase letters in spherical white dialogue balloons. Inflection makes words grow bold. Lowered voices and guttural sounds receive lowercase letters. Rectangular narrative boxes overlay scenes showing what Reynolds talks about. Sound effects are as rough as homeless life. While Kowalski and Simpson make Foxe’s story compelling, Otsmane-Elhaou ensures it’s easy on the eye.
Movies like Mimic, Cloverfield, and Spiders 3D testify to New York City’s constant battle with monsters. While All Eight Eyes #2 covers Reynolds, Vin, and Possom’s efforts to protect the Alphabet City neighborhood in 2003, the real monsters in this lavishly illustrated comic–greed and a lack of concern for others–remain constant threats to people everywhere.