Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen return with their second installment of the tween/teen vampire story Little Monsters. While the story has plenty of action, its main function seems to be setting the stage for what is to come in future issues.
After taking its time to introduce readers to a cadre of tween and teenaged vampires in the premiere issue, Little Monsters #2 focuses on bloodsucking action – and the consequences of those acts.
Writer Jeff Lemire picks up his story just as one of the undead children, Romie, encounters the first human he’s seen years. While the encounter doesn’t end exactly as expected, it’s still not a pleasant sight. Billy, another member of the group of young vampires, gets his first taste of human blood. (Until now, the kids have been feasting on the blood of rats and other small animals.) Billy undergoes a kind of transformation, and the reader can’t help wonder if he will become the antagonist for the rest of the story.
Artist Dustin Nguyen again dazzles with his largely black and white depictions. Crimson red blood is practically the only color in the book. It emphasizes that the potential terror that these kids represent while reminding the reader that the children only come out to play during the nighttime.
The corruption of youth has long been a popular theme in fiction, particularly in horror stories. Billy’s change seems to represent a maturation into something more advanced, and likely sinister. Will he bring the rest of the group along with him into vampiric adulthood, or will they team up against him? It’s a fascinating exploration – a layered story that Lemire specializes in.
As with the first issue, Little Monsters #2 ends with a cliffhanger while introducing what appears to be an important character. How the group dynamic changes with Billy’s maturation and this new player will play out in the next chapters of this strong story from an amazing creative team.
Little Monsters #2 will be available for purchase on April 6, 2022.