Darkest Night #2
For whatever it’s worth, I was completely wrong in my guess of the direction that this series was headed. Which is the best thing in the world about reading a series, frankly. This was too big of a spoiler for the last review so I didn’t reveal it (and you should know better than to read a review of a second issue if you still have interest in being surprised by the first), but Caleb’s parents died in an accident in the last issue, not long after he’s dumped by his longtime girlfriend. This issue starts off with the funeral, with his ex (Callie) making the questionable call of bringing her new boyfriend to the funeral. I get where she could use the comfort, but the day really wasn’t about her, and it causes a few problems down the line. Caleb is having some troubles getting through the eulogy, and seeing Callie there doesn’t do him any favors. From there they all move to a smaller gathering, and at this point the boyfriend tries to stay in the car but Callie needs him with her, so they go in together and the new boyfriend tries to introduce himself to Caleb. It’s awkward, as he points out, and at this point a friend of Caleb’s literally barges into the conversation to try and break things up. Since I’m still guessing what’s going to happen here, I’d have to call that guy the hero of the story so far. Caleb slowly gets back to his life, but how do you recover from a series of tragedies like that? This is all shaping up to be quite a third issue, and I’m looking forward to getting my expectations subverted yet again. Hayden has done a really excellent job of showing some of the less talked about angles of a breakup, including how it all plays out when it happens right next to a family tragedy like this. There were more than a few heartbreaking moments in here, like poor Caleb waking up and sleepily asking his mother for painkillers. Hayden was also nice enough to send along a collection of his entire Billy the Demon Slayer series, and I’m looking forward to reading that all at once to see how it all comes together. Within the next couple of months if all goes well…
Darkest Night #1
This series is off to a promising start, which is always a welcome sign when somebody sends along their entire series so far for me to review. Things start off with a couple breaking up, as the guy gets home from work (?) only to find a text from his girlfriend breaking up with him. I think he’s meant to be the scary creep of the pair, but breaking up with somebody via text already made me dislike the girl a bit. We see them both at school the next day (they’re in high school, when all relationships are the end of the world), and the girl seems to be taking things a lot better than the guy. Oh fine, the girl is Carlie and the guy is Caleb. Anyway, her friends seem to be thrilled at the concept of Carlie being single along with them, while Caleb is brooding and not ready to listen to his friends call Carlie trash and that he’s better off without her. Things move along from there (some timeline would have been helpful here, but I’m guessing this takes place over the course of a few weeks), with Caleb getting moodier all the time and Carlie moving on, as she even takes tentative steps to start dating again. At this point I had a suspicion that I knew where all this was heading, which makes Hayden’s next move even better, as I did not see the tragedy that does happen coming. My only complaint so far is that a little backstory would have been helpful to know why this breakup had to happen and why it was seemingly only a big deal to Caleb, but Hayden sent along two more issues that might explain that more clearly. Like I said, this is an intriguing start to the series and I’m curious to see which direction this goes from here. This is $10 Australian money, but I’m a dumb American and have no idea what that translates to over here in North America. It’s worth contacting him to find out!