REVIEW: Roisin Dubh #2

Story by: Robert Curley & Maura McHugh
Art by: Stephen Byrne
Publisher: Atomic Diner
REVIEW: The latest book in Atomic Diners slew of new original material is in the form of the second issue of Roisin Dubh. It is the latest cog in the ever expanding wheel that Rob Curley is making that encompasses the most audacious attempt yet to pull together a coherent Irish superhero universe. After the events of the last issue, Roisin is left to ponder the consequences surrounding the deaths of her parents and the shock of what has transpired in the barn with the apparent reanimation of the bodies.
The story opens with a just reawakened Roisin in conversation with her brooch in which the crow attempts to call her to arms to stop the reanimated in the barn adjacent to the property. I liked how this scene was well laid out and paced wonderfully and given time to build to the moment without rushing what was an important plot point in the story. In fact the whole issue is like this which makes it an absolute pleasure to read. It isn’t a quick read either with a heavy narrative that pulls you in as a reader and doesn’t let you go until the very end. In fact the story, after you finish reading it, retains the feeling of a heavily researched and authentic feel to the era. This only adds to my feeling that Roisin Dubh is book worth taking the chance on. Another nice touch by the writers was to not make the Abhartach too much of a frontline threat instead leaving his menace and danger forefront through other characters dialogue. And with the push of Richard Butler as a secondary threat to Roisin this makes the book double pronged in away that could prove very interesting.
I love Stephen Byrne’s dark and atmospheric style of storytelling. The heavy emphasis on the sheer blacks he uses that encompass the book, much like the first issue make it a nicely structured piece of work. This is evidenced by the funeral scene where the art tells the story much more than the narrative. It was an opportunity for Byrne to let loose his skills as a storyteller and let the art work shine. The placing of his panels around the headshot of Roisin was skilled and it came off perfectly. The smile on Richard’s face in the final page was a telling image that ensures that the outcome of that scenes dialogue makes the third issue an immediate desire.
Another great issue from Ireland’s leading publisher of indy comics. It really hits all the right notes visually and with its involved, layered story. When the issue hits do your best to pick it up and get on board this exciting endeavour taking shape that is Rob Curley’s vision.