THE FEARSCAPE #2 by Ryan O'Sullivan, Andrea Mutti, and Vladimir Popov
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Henry Henry has made it to his first trial. Unfortunately, not everything goes as planned. Now Henry has created a problem that no one saw coming. Ryan O'Sullivan leaves us on a note that will make you want the next issue. This is only exasperated by Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov's beautiful art. It's not too late to catch up and read these!
99 %
Oh, Henry Henry.
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Do you ever wonder where writers get their inspiration? I mean, with so many ideas out in the universe, how does a writer come up with something original and new? Perhaps the creative team behind THE FEARSCAPE can shed some light on this. THE FEARSCAPE #2 continues the story of Henry Henry, plagiarist extraordinaire, as he pretends to be the World’s Greatest Writer.

Ryan O’Sullivan does an amazing job taking readers into a space that is familiar, yet totally new. He uses classic story tropes in new and inventive ways. Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov match O’Sullivan’s mind-blowing story with mind-blowing art. I really think this series is just going to get more beautiful as it goes.

The Fearscape #2
Image courtesy of Vault Comics

Falling into the Fearscape

We start off at The Weeping Castle, home of the children of Prometheus. Unfortunately, that’s about all we know because a certain narrator decides he doesn’t want to hear about it. Henry asks the Muse for a break, as they have been walking through the Fearscape for God knows how long. But it’s here that we see an interesting break in Henry. He starts to worry that maybe the Muse is aware that Henry isn’t Arthur Proctor, the actual hero, and is really just a plagiarist fraud. His worry subsides when the Muse refers to him as Arthur.

At the castle, Henry meets a nameless figure. This figure lets Henry into the house to face The First Fear. Essentially, this is the first challenge the World’s Greatest Writer would face. However, things go exactly how you would think they would go. The fraud that is Henry was unable to defeat The First Fear. The Muse argues with the nameless figure, which gives time for Henry to make his escape.

Out wandering the Fearscape alone, it’s only natural for Henry to run into some trouble. It’s twice as natural that he causes more trouble for the Fearscape than anyone had anticipated.

Henry Henry Henry Henry Henry Henry

Let’s face it: Henry Henry is a real bastard. He’s deeply flawed, lies to himself and everyone around him, and thinks he’s absolutely amazing when he’s average at best. But these are all the things that keep us reading. Whether we like it or not, Henry is absolutely fascinating to watch. And in THE FEARSCAPE #2, O’Sullivan gives us a little more about who Henry truly is and what he is hiding.

During an exchange with a siren, Henry starts to unravel. He is shown a personified version of his heart in a place where his secrets are buried. Things that Henry never wants to see or acknowledge about himself reside there. However, every time we get to know what this secret is, Henry’s thought bubbles cover all the good parts. But, admittedly, the bubbles are absolutely perfect. Henry knows we’re watching him, he’s always talking to his “dear reader.” So he knows he’s hiding something specifically from us. What better way to hide something you don’t want to hear than thinking loudly over it.

Also, I want to point out that I was so pleased when Henry said he hates metafiction for so many reasons.

But this also gives us a new perspective on Henry. Although he tries to remain cool, calm, and collected all the time, facing his heart horrified him. He couldn’t handle it and fell apart, which has yet to happen. So Henry has a weakness, something huge that he’s even hiding from himself. Unfortunately, we’re forced to wait for now.

The Fearscape #2
Image courtesy of Vault Comics

A Beautiful (Albeit Terrifying) Place to Be

A story like this can only be matched with fantastic art, and Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov absolutely provide. Their attention to small details within each panel of THE FEARSCAPE #2 makes the narrative whole, driving home the fact that the Fearscape is a horrifying yet wonderful place.

Andrea Mutti’s art captures O’Sullivan’s story to a tee. The creatures that appear in this issue are a mix between familiar and new. There are sirens and centaurs, yes, but then there is also The First Fear and the thing that pulled Henry through The First Fear’s door. These depictions are awesome to look at because they’re things we’ve never really considered personified. Mutti uses this opportunity to really flex his skills and show us what he’s got. And don’t get me started on The Hero With A Thousand Faces. His armor is so cool to look at.

Vladimir Popov’s amazing coloring complements Mutti’s work perfectly. Every time you turn the page, you’re washed with brilliant colors. One minute you’re in the Castle, surrounded by warm browns. The next you’re back out in the Fearscape, a lilac and cold-yet-still-warm place. The color also designates when you’re in the Fearscape versus when you’re out. The borders have slight splashes of color seeping out of the panels, indicating we’re in the Fearscape. However, reality has stark lines, trapping the scene inside. This attention to details is what really makes THE FEARSCAPE stand out as a series.

Final Thoughts on THE FEARSCAPE #2

Henry Henry may be a turd, but, damnit, he’s our turd. I wouldn’t trade him for anyone else. Ryan O’Sullivan gives us a fascinating story that is sure to take us to more fantastic places. With Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov giving us the imagery, we’re sure to get a visual treat with every issue. Luckily, this series just started so you can get caught up quickly. I absolutely recommend checking it out.

Be sure to pick up THE FEARSCAPE #2 when it drops October 31st

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