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Abattoir #2 is “a Fun Story in the Vein of a Stephen King Horror Novel”

Review by Don McPherson

Abattoir #2 (Radical Comics)

by Rob Levin, Troy Peteri, Bing Cansino & Rodell Noora

I enjoyed the first issue of this horror/thriller limited series, and when the second issue turned up in my mailbox a few days ago, I was eager to see if the story about a macabre collector of locales of untimely demises would continue to hold my attention. I’m pleased to discover that it’s a fun story in the vein of a Stephen King horror novel. The horror takes on more of a psychological tone in this issue, as the old, creepy antagonist seems more human and manipulative than mysterious and monstrous. The plot has one major problem in that it features an unsuccessful real-estate agent who’s reluctant to sell a property. That’s a little hard to accept no matter how weird the client may be. Fortunately, the story moves at a brisk pace, making it easier for the reader to focus on other elements. I continue to be impressed with the writers’ portrayal of the stormy relationship the hero has with his wife; they clearly care for one another, but they also keep saying the wrong things. What’s most interesting about this issue is the notion that the conflict may exist inside the protagonist’s head. Developments give him and others cause to question his state of mind, and I find that to be just as interesting as the ghoul with a penchant for suburban death altars.

The realistic yet approach to the art enhances the horror aspects nicely and develops the tense, frantic mood nicely. I think what makes the realistic approach so effective is the portrayal of Rich’s family. We’re given a crisp, believable view of everything he has to lose, so that makes his frustration, anger and desperation all the more easy to accept. There’s a key dream sequence that could’ve been a bit clearer, but it’s understandable why the creators would aim for a dizzying, hard-to-follow tone in such a nightmare scene.

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