Writer: Jude Ellison S. Doyle
Art: Letizia Cadonici
Colors: Alessandro Santoro
Letters: Becca Carey
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Release Date: April 26th, 2023
The Neighbors #2 continues the horror miniseries, where a family moves into a new neighborhood and immediately start experiencing creepy things, like visits from random strangers trying to get inside their house and an old crone living next door who may be a witch. At the end of last issue, the oldest daughter Casey was seemingly abducted, dragged into the surrounding woods and replaced by a doppelganger. This issue, the weirdness escalates as the family struggles with their own internal issues while dealing with the dark forces around them.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read The Neighbors #2 Review.
We get to see more of Janet and Oliver’s backstory in The Neighbors #2, including Oliver’s struggle with the anxiety that ultimately led them to move to this new town. Oliver is a trans male and always suspicious of everything around him. Even though he’s trying his best to live a normal life, the anxiety keeps returning and overtaking him. Janet is a perfect counterpoint to him, with her seemingly endless optimism. The two are a wonderfully loving couple and as the creepiness escalates, you really fear for them and what’s going to happen next.
Adding to the Oliver’s anxiety is their youngest daughter Isobel’s habit of running over next door to visit the old crone and whatever new animal the crone possesses. It leads to a chilling moment this issue that involves the old crone, Isobel, a toad and a handful of salt. It’s like something out of a very dark fairy tale and you feel like there’s no way it will end good. The most disturbing scenes come from the older daughter Casey, who has obviously been replaced with an evil doppelganger, and “accidentally” does things that cause Oliver and Isobel harm, yet she never does anything to her mother Janet. It seems whatever demon, goblin or other creature has replaced Casey is trying to sow division in the family, as Oliver can see Casey for what she is but Janet still thinks Casey is just a teen being a teen. You wonder how much Oliver and Janet are going to take before they turn on each other.
The art amplifies the creepiness in Casey’s scenes as she frequently glares at Oliver with a malicious smile that resembles Jack Nicholson’s crazed smile in “The Shining”, as if she’s daring him to do something about her. Horror is so much better when there are feelings of dread and what’s around the next corner. This miniseries does a good job with capturing that feeling of dread, you never know what’s going to happen as you read through the book. It’s great writing and I hope this level of atmosphere can be maintained throughout the rest of the miniseries.
As stated above, Letizia Cadonici’s art on The Neighbors #2 adds another layer to the story with her use of shadow and the grotesque world Oliver, Janet and their family find themselves in. There’s a lot of symbolism splashed through the book via stained glass windows splashed throughout the book, which seem to mirror the events that are happening to the family. Casey’s doppelganger and her malevolent smile are the stars of the book. Every time she glares at Oliver with that twisted smile it’s incredibly chilling and you have the feeling she hasn’t even started yet.
The Neighbors #2 is a great continuation of the story, giving us more insights into Oliver’s past and his relationship with Janet while hitting us with several chilling moments throughout. If you love horror comics, pick this up!