A Dark Tale Continues in Dead End Kids #2
Dead End Kids should win an award for dark storytelling. The first issue captured the attention of its audience and certainly fulfilled the promise of the title. The second issue managed to up the ante while avoiding any predictability that could have been its downfall.
Set in the late ‘90s, this series follows a group of misfit kids as they try to navigate the life handed to them. Their lives haven’t been easy, and if this series is any indication, it isn’t going to get a whole lot easier anytime soon.
Dead End Kids #2 picks up where the previous issue left off, but you may be surprised by some of the twists and turns it takes. The tone is still as dark and eerie as before, and now we have more questions than ever.
Frank Gogel returned for the second issue of Dead End Kids, and the writing is just as strong as before. Now we’re finally getting into the thick of the plot, yet we still need to learn a shocking amount before any new significant reveals can be made.
Dead End Kids #2 made strong use of flashbacks to tell us a variety of stories. And no matter which direction these tales go, we know they’ll bring us back to the present and our group of misfits. It was actually quite interesting to try and piece together the puzzle ahead of the narrative – trying to figure out what set of events happened to each child (or to their families) and how it fits in with the larger plot.
This issue balanced out the backstory (flashbacks) perfectly with events in the present. Each transition was well-timed and left readers anxious to know more, but not ever crossing a line into becoming actively frustrating.
It was fascinating to see this story develop from all of these different angles. It certainly wasn’t something expected, but that just made the story all the more refreshing – even while we dreaded what would happen next.
I love the art style behind Dead End Kids, but I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before. It has this feel to it – like it popped straight out of the late nineties. It’s perfect for this plot and setting, of course. But it also really did help set the tone.
Dead End Kids #2 had a lot of rapid transitions as part of the storytelling methods used here, yet it was always surprisingly easy to tell when a jump occurred. Part of this had to do with the art style and color palettes used, but the letterer should also get credit.
Nenad Cviticanin was the lead artist for this issue, as like the first one, and Sean Rinehart, the letterer. Criss Madd provided the striking (and somewhat alarming) cover. Together these artists brought the plot to life – capturing the tone and sensation of the series.
Dead End Kids #2 proved that the first issue was not a one-hit-wonder. It continued the tale that captivated readers while adding more complexity along the way. The twists and revelations in this issue made it anything but predictable, leaving us with a true mystery on our hands.
This was a dark and disturbing read on many levels, but it was also shockingly human. To be honest, that’s where this series really shines. And it’s why I know that I personally will continue reading this series even while I fear for what might happen during the next big reveal.
This review was originally written for Word of the Nerd, but has been ported over to Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks now that the site has shut down.