Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Alvaro Martinez
Release Date: July 6, 2021
Reviewer: Rollo Tomassi
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After the events of The Nice House on the Lake #1, we get to spend some time getting to learn about the group that the mysterious Walter has gathered together while the rest of the world dies. And, just like the first issue, we open with one of the groups appearing sometime in the future post-apocalyptic world recounting the early days as things fell apart. We get a brief glimmer of Walter as a college student before we are then taken to a flashback to the Lake House the day after issue one.
The last issue introduced a lot of characters without much background information. However, The Nice House on the Lake #2 begins to address that by giving several characters to explain their relationship to Walter. Whereas some characters have only known Walter for a few years, it turns out that others have known him for much longer. Some went to college or high school with him. Some have known him even longer. Yet, Walter at the end of the first issue, as well as and the current, is seen in the present as some kind of demon or alien. It becomes even creepier to think that he’s been involved in some of the group’s lives for so long. Also, as issue #2 goes on, we see that Walter seems to not just be content to gather his friends at the Lake House. Here, readers see him begin to appear at random to some of the group and maybe attempting to manipulate them in some way. Possibly to control the group better.
As this is only the second issue, we are still very early in the “getting to know the situation” phase of the overall story. The characters all feel like they are acting authentic. They’re acting how I would believe they are supposed to. Plus, the questions they ask are things people would do in this type of situation.
Tynion and Martinez use prose pages in the form of transcripts to get across a lot of exposition efficiently. The way those pages are laid out almost looks like they are a report for someone. Almost as though the purpose of gathering the group may be more than just Walter wanting to save his friends. The use of old-school dot matrix printing paper was a nice touch.
Martinez’s art is even better here than it was in the first issue. There is a clever use of panel layouts that keeps the reader engaged. He is also definitely bringing in the horror element to the story. His depiction of Walter is creepy. Moreover, quick images of the world falling into chaos are simply heartbreaking. He also uses a blueprint of the house to go along with some panels to help the reader get better oriented with the house. This is a very nice touch.
I’m not one to usually like to attempt to predict where a story is going. But I’m going to throw out one early theory. Besides whatever Walter is, perhaps the world isn’t ending? It may be for some reason Walter and whatever it is he belongs to are trying to convince the Lake House group the apocalypse happened when it didn’t. I guess we have ten more issues to find out.
The Nice House on the Lake #2 starts to explore the house and the group more. Plus, we learn Walter has been involved in their lives for a lot longer than we thought in the first issue. The mystery of what happened to the world and what will happen to the Lake group is still in the early stages. However, so far, it is a mystery worth following.