Dead of Winter #2 follows Gabriel Diaz, Ruckus Burley, and Sparky the Super Dog as they go around helping people in the zombie apocalypse. In this issue, we see Gabriel, Ruckus, and Annaleigh being taken prisoner by a crazed police officer after a grenade explodes their vehicle.
I have to say, Dead of Winter #2 was solid and really shows the effects of living in the zombie apocalypse. The story is split between what’s happening with the police officer and what Carla and Sparky are doing. Starks’ writing manages to effectively balance what’s going on within the story, and the shifting focus makes the story have some funny and tense moments. The man dressed as Santa Claus is revealed and tells how he’s survived so far, and we’re treated to some amusing dialog in a nice back and forth with Carla. Sparky’s backstory is expanded a little more, with a bit of a sad end to his flashback. Starks also manages to give a very menacing feel to the police officer, even though the character only speaks one word. With the zombie apocalypse going, the guy has to have some psychological issues while believing order should be maintained in a lawless environment. The writing is good and has me invested in the plot, by providing some good pacing, and keeping the reader engrossed in what’s going on. The characters (especially Sparky) are pleasant and have decent amount of development.
Regarding the art, Gabo Bautista really shines here. His style is solid, with an anime-ish feel to it, which captures the zombie apocalypse quite well, and keeps the reader’s eye interested. The style lends itself to the human element while also adding to the creepiness of the zombies. The line work is impressive, and has a strong amount of detail. At times, the characters seem to have odd-looking faces, but I think that’s just the style at hand. The color palette is nice, and the touches of gray give the art a more somber feel. While most of the panel layouts are fine, there are a few times where a character was placed at a weird angle. Crank!’s lettering is superb, but it could’ve used a few sound effect bubbles in certain panels.
Overall, Dead of Winter #2 was enjoyable, and I’ll definitely be checking out the next issue.
4 Sparkys out of 5