Casefile Arkham: Vol 2 - Her Blood Runs Cold Review
I absolutely adored the first volume of Casefile Arkham. It was a fresh take on the noir genre, combining horror into the usual mix of hard-edged Private Eyes and dames. I loved the lead character, supporting cast, and the macabre nature of the graphic novel.
Patrick Mcevoy happened to see my review for the first volume on Facebook and told me that If I liked the series so far I was in for a treat. I was stoked but in the back of my mind, I wasn't sure it was possible. The first volume in my eyes was a masterpiece.
Volume 2 picks up a few months following the events of the previous series. Hank Flynn has become romantically involved with Glynda and its business as usual. Things continue standard issue until one of Hank's friends, Derby apparently loses his mind and tries to murder him in his office. This force's Flynn to defend himself leading to his having to gun down his friend and associate.
The situation further escalates when Derby's wife hires Flynn to investigate the situation and find out what drove him mad. As the name of the volume suggests, its quickly established that there is more to her than it seems. What follows is a veritable rabbit hole of mysteries, lies, suspense, horror and ultimately huge revelations as the story barrels towards its conclusion.
At the outset of the review, I will say that I do believe that Volume 1 is slightly better than the second. That's not to say that there are any real flaws here. Volume 1 just has a tighter narrative focus which makes it easier to follow the story from a linear perspective.
Volume 2 adds layers to Hank Flynn's world and also further establishes the rules for the setting. If the creative team continues to tell stories in this world I believe volume 2 will act in a similar vein to Iron Man 2 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The narrative takes a slight step backward but I believe the broadening of the world will ultimately benefit later stories because of the breadcrumbs dropped this time around. The world feels a lot larger, the threat seems bigger and that can only benefit the series going forward.
There is a lot of potential for storytelling here and my mind keeps floating to the idea of a Casefile Arkham: Video game. I'd love to see a black and white survival horror game a'la resident evil or Dead Space set in this world mixed with the interrogation system from L.A. Noire.
Patrick Mcevoy gets a lot more to work with this time around. The locations are more varied. The horror is a bit more subdued and the backgrounds continue to be amazing. Some of the settings are so detailed that they have a photorealistic sheen to them. It's very understated and the passion that Patrick has for the material is palpable.
Either that or he's simply a genius. The work is amazing and the linework is top notch. If there is ever an opening for a Dick Tracy comic, Pat would be at the top of my list to get the gig.
In conclusion, Josh, Patrick, and Kat continue to deliver a staggering amount of content in this volume. Casefile Arkham: is even greater than the sum of its parts once you take a step back and consider what you have here.
At the time of this writing both volumes can be downloaded on kindle for less than $20.00 and you will get about 280 pages of content. A standard comic is typically $3.99 for 22 pages with advertisements. This is a great deal no matter how you slice it and I can confidently tell you that Casefile Arkham Volumes 1 & 2 will be better than the bulk of your weekly pull if you visit a comic shop regularly. Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the third volume of the continued trials of Hank Flynn.