Victor Gischler's "KISS ME, SATAN!" #2 is dripping with the kind of cultural atmosphere expected from a book set in the historic Garden District of New Orleans. But it isn't until Gischler, and artist Juan Ferreyra, take readers through the antiquated gates of Lafayette Cemetery that the issue enters the wonderfully ethereal world of lore and legend.
WRITTEN BY: Victor Gischler
ART BY: Juan Ferreyra
RELEASE: October 23, 2013
Both writer and artist continue to develop the two parallel storylines introduced last month, only this time Barnabus Black has more than Cassian Steele's pack of mafia werewolves to worry about. This installment begins in a cheap motel, where our fallen angel continues to protect the witch Verona -- as well as her disciples -- from the bounty placed on their heads by Steele. Readers will see how far the latter will go to retain control of the dynasty he faces to lose, once word gets out that his unborn son doesn't possess the mark of the lycanthrope; therefore isn't his heir. Concurrently, readers will also see the lengths to which his pregnant wife will go to ensure her baby's safety.
The story at the Steele mansion focuses on the characters rather than senseless, titillating action, which is why it manages to surpass Barnabus' battle-heavy narrative in terms of gratification. Chalk it up to how compellingly badass Meredith Steele becomes when put in an impossibly difficult position as the mother of an endangered child, but it's just an undeniably engrossing plot point. Expect another masterfully rendered panel of gore and guts from Ferreyra due to her legitimized wrath.
After an attack the protagonist and the witches flee the motel only to be run off the road by an overzealous pack of ninja corpses driving a monster truck. It sounds almost too good to be true, but the wreckage is evidenced on a fantastically illustrated splash page Ferreyra gifts readers with to salivate over. In terms of plot development, not much is established beyond the extreme ass-kicking aspects of their narrative. But what's interesting about this storyline is that the group get chased into one of the most historically lore-heavy cemeteries in the heart of the Garden District: Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. The artist does a great job recreating New Orleans' typical above-ground stone crypts and mausoleums, while initiating ninja corpse/zombie warfare inside the premises.
Factually speaking, these mausoleums are practically their own miniature crematory. The dead are placed inside with the coffin, and the intense heat of the summer will essentially turn these tombs into ovens, scorching the insides in extremely high temperatures. New bodies would be placed inside with the ash, skeletons, and charred coffins; for that reason, anywhere from 20 to 60 people can be buried in the same resting place. Because of this, Lafayette Cemetery is quite possibly the best place for Gischler and Ferreyra to introduce the book's new -- awesomely envisioned -- villain, The Bone Wrangler. His power is being able to control the undead, and this place is full of them.
On the topic of the undead: In the 18th century, there was a lot of zombie folklore/paranoia derived from this place. During this period, medical conditions like comas were not yet understood, so people would be mistaken for dead and buried alive in the mausoleums of New Orleans cemeteries. In the event that they'd awake from slumber, they'd be considered creatures of the night and immediately murdered by the gatekeepers with a stake through the heart. It seems only natural that by the end of this issue, readers will see the rise of The Bone Wrangler's zombie army taking over Lafayette Cemetery, in his quest to collect the bounty.
Gischler isn't particularly forthcoming about certain unanswered questions that were raised in both installments, but he appears to be in his element when writing on the themes of a subculture of individuals living outside of normal (human) society. Ferreyra's work is as consistently good as it's always been. With assisted colours from Eduardo Ferreyra, the two keep the tone of the issue dark, mysterious, and perfectly suited for Gischler's world.
Reviewed by - ShadowJayd