Beauty in Death: Grim #2 is a Perfect Second Issue

Grim #2
Written by Stephanie Phillips
Line Art by Flaviano
Color Art by Rico Renzi
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Published by Boom! Studios

After losing one of her charges as a reaper, Jess is suspended and left to ponder why she's the only reaper who doesn't know how she died. Finding out the truth may have even worse consequences then failing at her job as this second issue of Grim races from one gorgeous panel to the next.

The opening of the second issue is a Day of the Dead celebration, and the images are simply outstanding. Flaviano's linework and detailing is amazing, and combined with the bright, garish colors of Renzi, really makes you feel like you are in the middle of a real festival. Even background images and characters in these starting pages get fully realized, allowing the reader to be completely immersed. I am not a part of the culture, but from what I do know and have read/seen, I think it's authentic, too. When the inevitable (this is a horror book relating to death, after all) kicks in, the two-page splash is one of the best I've read all year. The framing of the characters, the inset panels, the changes in coloring--it's all pitch perfect.

That continues through the entire issue, with the color themes from the first returning as we see Jess trying to figure out what's going on. Each area in the reapers' realms has a commonality thanks to the color work of Renzi, but is distinct due to the line art of Flaviano. It's really amazing work and if anything, tops even the great pages of issue one, which I raved about in a catch it post last month. The art team on Grim is working in perfect harmony.

That's not to discount Philip's script at all. Panel Patter readers know I am a big fan of her work, and this series is no exception. She's created a great mystery (what's going on with Jess?) and given some hints to the fact that something in the world of death has gone terribly wrong. But what's awesome is that we aren't given too much information about the impending disaster, only hints. And we aren't sure yet who to trust, either. Is Jess's supervisor well-meaning? Or is she trying to pull one over on Death itself?

There's also the little touches, like the musical reaper playing The Door's The End and his home base being an old record store. The dialogue between Jess and the others is so sharp and biting its as honed as their mystical blades. Everything ties into the art around it, too, showing a great harmony between the creative team.

I have some ideas of what's going on in Grim, but the best part of things, so far, is that I'm not entirely sure I'm even on the right track. I'll just have to wait, like you, for another 30 days to find out just how bad things are going to get for Jess--and humanity. My guess is pretty damned bad.

Grim issue 2 is out now on your favorite digital device or comic book shop from Boom! Studios.