In the aftermath of the explosion and chaos at Scotland Yard, Sir Maurice Newbury and Veronica Hobbes find themselves deep in the bowels of Dr Archibald Knox’s secret laboratory. And they are not alone…
Issue #2 of Newbury & Hobbes: The Undying steps in directly where issue #1 ends. Everyone is still playing catchup – even more so now after Scotland Yard’s decimation at the hands of the mysterious masked cyborg-type creatures. There is some nefarious plan slowly being revealed piece by piece and only the head masked man knows what is coming. He and his organisation of skull-masked individuals seem hell-bent on something we just don’t know entirely what yet.
The elaborate framing of some of the pages returns here, adding a flourish to the already excellent artwork and giving it a sense of something far in excess of a simple comic book page. The artwork of Dan Boultwood continues to be of a high standard, enticing and clear. Some of the action sequences are maybe lacking a bit but overall the style is excellent. Two panels in particular, identical scenes at first glance on closer inspection, the focus moves from the foreground to the background, sublimely conveying so much more in such a simple scene.
Hobbes’ inner monologue continues to provide clues as to the current situation and hints at the past. At least in this issue, for those of us who haven’t read the novel series, we do get some information on the past, filling in a few blanks and giving a little context about their past investigations. The references to the novels continue for those who are familiar, or those who are intrigued enough to find out.
The story rumbles on at a steady pace throughout and George Mann’s writing does very well to translate the Victorian London of the day onto the page and into the mouths of all concerned. The overall plot remains elusive and yet intriguing, enticing the reader onwards. The dialogue between characters continues to feel natural and of the time; and as a nice touch there is even with a little edge of humour (self-deprecating British, of course!) at times.
What makes this series so enticing apart from the appealing artwork and the mysterious investigation, where nothing would appear to be out of the ordinary, is having the main protagonists, Newbury and Hobbes, as being depicted in as equal a partnership as you are likely to see. Both are fully adept at combat and as proficient at investigating as each other, which is great to see alongside the obvious, Hobbes narrated viewpoints.