Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist & Colorist: Jesse Lonergan
Letterer: Clem Robins
Cover Artists: Jesse Lonergan; Christine Larsen
Publisher: Dark Horse
Release Date: June 14, 2023
The year is 1883. The place is London, England. Mrs. Lamb knocks on her door. Miss Truesdale desires neither food nor drink. Five days have passed, yet the dream of Tefnut Trionus, the Queen of the Heliotropic Brotherhood, still dominates her thoughts. What strange ordeal must Miss Truesdale undergo? What battle must she fight? Let’s venture into Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #2 and find out!
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Issue #1 ended with the revelation that Tefnut’s earliest incarnation was the Hyperborean servant, while Miss Truesdale was the warrior Anum Yassa. After the servant’s warning, the gladiator did not drink the poisoned wine. Instead, her owners locked her in her quarters. When they released her, she wandered through the complex. When she reached the temple where her captors once planned to sacrifice her, Anum Yassa saw the servant girl again. Sadly, it wasn’t a happy reunion.
The intent behind the remainder of Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #2 is unclear. The priest invokes the goddess and disappears. Anum Yassa beholds her wonder and majesty but escapes the temple unharmed. She seeks out the priest and battles people from her past. Did the priest want to sacrifice her? Did he intend for her to die outside the temple? Or did he use her to summon his goddess to draw on her supernatural strength?
Secondly, Tefnut shared this dream five days ago. Flashbacks show that Miss Truesdale shared the vision. After returning from Paris, Miss Truesdale sought Anum Ra’s guidance. Once again, she peered into prehistoric times. Is she repeating the dream over five days? Did Tefnut see the latter portion?
Lastly, Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #2 leaves me uncertain about crucial names. As the hyperborean warrior fights her former foes, she names them. Yet we never learn the name of the servant girl, the priest, or his goddess. Perhaps I missed them? The crowd chanted “Anum Yassa” while she fought. The first angel of Heaven is named Anum. Miss Truesdale prays to a saint or prophet named Anum Ra. Am I correct about the warrior’s name? If so, that’s a trilogy of Anums.
Jesse Lonergan’s easy-going style suggests the exhilaration of creation. Hyperborean characters look rounded and lumpy, while the priest sports sharp angles. Victorian characters look thin like the priest but have pointy chins. The warrior’s chainmail and clothing remind me of Red Sonja, but the nightmarish temple scene, and her battle against her foes, recall Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. But then, Howard also wrote about Hyperborean times. The goddess may resemble a cupid, yet she holds a head in one hand, a steaming bowl in the other, and wears a sash adorned with skulls. A snake rests on her arms. The eyes behind a mask reminiscent of Kali burn with heavenly fire.
Much is gray in Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #2. Yet the patina of Jesse Lonergan’s limited palette suggests weathered copper, water-damaged painted wood, or lichen on rocks. What seems simple is quite nuanced. Clem Robins’ uppercase black letters range from small to large. Words are easy to read, and the white dialogue balloons are easy to follow. Colorful sound effects hack through panels like Anum Yassa’s favorite weapon. The RRAAAAA in two panels reminds me of a furiously beeping E.K.G. Might it relate to the second half of the name of Miss Truesdale’s patron saint?
Men ruled Hyperborea and Victorian England. Both countries practiced imperialism. Today England is a beacon of Western civilization. It’s granted self-rule to former dominions and champions the rights of women. I don’t know whether imperialism and women’s rights are inexplicably linked, but I suspect contemporary England represents the better world Tefnut worked to create. Miss Truesdale and the Fall of Hyperborea #2 glow with heroes and action, shine with Mignolaverse lore and sparkle with Tefnut’s hopes of building a better world. Whether you read the issue or not, I hope you’re working to transform her dreams into reality.