Two Moons #2 is a solid continuation of the promise shown with issue number one. This tale of spirits and monsters at play during the American Civil War is a fun, deep, crisp read and a heck of a good comic book with an exquisite attention to detail that’s just getting started.
“THE IRON NOOSE,” Part Two
Facing a court-martial and execution at the hands of the Union Army, Virgil must depend on the enemy to save his life.
Two Moons #2 starts off directly after the events of issue number one with the titular Two Moons, aka Virgil Morris, a Pawnee-born Union soldier raised by a white family, headed to the gallows for shooting and apparently killing his sergeant during the American Civil War.
Things are not what they appear, however, since Virgil has a gift for seeing past the veil of reality and being able to speak with the spirits and monsters among us — just like the aforementioned Sergeant McBride who made his true monstrous appearance known at the end of issue one. A reveal that led to him being shot by Virgil. Was he killed? Remains to be seen. Literally.
War makes beasts of men, but to have actual beasts and spirits thrown into the mix? That is a very cool concept especially with the Civil War as a backdrop and done with an exquisite sense of authenticity. When Virgil converses with the spirit of the Coyote, the exchange he has with it — as well as the depiction of the spirit itself — is superbly rendered by artist Valerio Giangiordano. His art here is on another level. It could have easily stepped out of an issue of Heavy Metal magazine from the 1970s and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s truly illuminating.
In fact, I can’t help but be reminded of the Tex Arcana series by John Findley that ran in Heavy Metal during the 1980s for Two Moons’ mix of the spectral, the gothic and the Southern and Giangiordano’s art is occasionally evocative of Richard Corben’s, especially when Virgil visits the spirit world. Again, I mean this in the best possible way.
But the most intriguing figure in this story of fighting one’s own self and destiny in the land of war, spirits and monsters, is that of Nurse Frances, the kind, feisty and capable Irish nurse with her own sense of mystery. There’s also a potential love triangle building between herself, Virgil, and Virgil’s friend since childhood, Levon — and Levon is not too keen on Virgil shooting their sergeant.
John Arcudi’s writing is airtight. He keeps the tempo crisp and the action moving without losing any narrative power even when the story — again, quite literally — ends up in space. The decisions he makes, the questions he asks (who are the real monsters here?) and his commitment to the story, the characters and historical authenticity deserves attention and acclaim.
This is a heck of a good comic book and it’s just getting started.
Two Moons #2 released Mar. 31, published by Image Comics; written by John Arcudi; art by Valerio Giangiordano; colors by Bill Crabtree; letters by Michael Heisler; cover art by Valerio Giangiordano with colors by Bill Crabtree; cover B art by Francesco Mobili & Francesco Segala; logo design by Drew Grill; design and production by Ryan Brewer