The Red Mother #2 is published by BOOM! Studios, written by Jeremy Hahn, with illustrations by Danny Luckert, and letters from Ed Dukeshire. After the shocking ending to the first issue, the second hits the ground running. As Daisy sleeps she is awoken by an ethereal voice. She looks up to see the ghastly form of her fiance, Luke, telling her to beware The Red Mother. She flies out of bed but Luke is gone, apparently a dream. The next day, during a session with her therapist, she recounts her difficulties reacclimating to life after her attack.
The doctor makes mention of the “Smiling Man” that Daisy saw at the end of issue one, but Daisy deflects. Soon Daisy is out of the therapy appointment and trying to return her life to normal. However, mysterious specters lurk in every crowd, and it becomes increasingly apparent that nowhere is safe.
One of the most endearing things about Hahn’s plotting is that no scene is safe from a potential scare. The issue opens with a dread-inducing ghostly apparition and it carries that dread until the book’s end. Even the quiet moments don’t feel entirely safe from this oppressive dread. Despite this, when the inevitable happens and the Smiling Man appears it remains unnerving.
But it would be disingenuous to say that these story beats were carried by the excellent pacing alone. The art from Luckert is a major contributor to all aspects of this comic’s effectiveness. The opening page’s ghastly look at the Red Mother sets the tone. Then the frequent and unsettling appearances by the Smiling Man continue to carry that tone throughout.
I spoke in my first review about the presence of the color red in this comic. This issue further reinforces it’s importance thematically. The more that Daisy is forced to confront the attack and the bizarre happenings, the more the color red paints the panels. At times, when her paranoia begins to peak, it is always signaled by panels colored entirely in red. By doing this, Luckert gives the reader visual cues that all is not well and that it’s only going to get worse from there. Complementing Hahn and Luckert’s excellent work are the letters from Dukeshire. Of particular note are Luke’s speech bubbles from the beginning. The reader can practically hear the ethereal tones thanks to Dukeshire’s work.
After devouring the first issue I couldn’t wait to read The Red Mother #2 and now that I have I can safely say it was worth the wait. The creative team behind this comic is inspired and every aspect of the story being told is fascinating. Hahn has keyed in perfectly to the very human emotions that must drive every horror story. With Luckert and Dukeshire working alongside him this series could very well go down as a classic in comic horror. I can’t recommend this series highly enough.
The Red Mother #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Rating: 5/5 Smiling Men
The Red Mother #2
…I can safely say it was worth the wait. The creative team behind this comic is inspired and every aspect of the story being told is fascinating.