I missed issue #1 of this and was going to go back and see if I could read it before reading and reviewing issue #2 but I decided against it. Why? Because a lot’s been made recently about “comics journalism” and what value reviewing individual issues really has. I believe it has a lot of value. I understand the trade waiting mentality and I ascribe to it myself with certain titles, looking at you Fables, but that doesn’t mitigate the weight of each issue in a series. Sure some are throw away stories, filler, but some can be epic masterpieces in their own right.
I read the second issue of Penny Dora and The Wishing Box cold. I didn’t read a synopsis or blurb first.
The story revolves around, not surprisingly, Penny and this box. Not just any box mind you, this one has a voice coming from it, a voice that keeps repeating “What do you wish for?…” over and over again. Now I’ve read many genie stories and watched a whole hell of a lot of Twilight Zone so I know this doesn’t bode well. The fact that Penny and the friend who slept over her house the previous night, Elizabeth, seem around 9 (?) years old and probably don’t have the same anecdotal experience I do is even worse.
The first thing I noticed was the tone, I remember reading somewhere that Sina Grace is a Twilight Zone fan but I have no idea if the writer, Michael Stock, is. Either way this book captured an uneasy quality that is hard to describe (though uneasy does come close). The narration by Penny is pensive, and the questions and blase attitude of Elizabeth is unnerving, I found myself waiting for Elizabeth to wish for something frightening, or dangerous, and felt Penny had the same fear, though she never says so. As the day progresses around these two girls having a playdate of sorts (what we would’ve called hanging out waaay back in my day…) the tension builds. When wishes finally happen they are innocuous, tentative, benign even, yet I didn’t feel the tension ebb. Check out the preview and then I’ll come back…
What makes the tension finally pop? What’s the conflict of this issue? Hah sorry pal, buy it and find out. Let’s just say that it revolves around a recurring conflict in stories of genies and lamps and wishes. And Stock handled it in a way that makes me wish for issue #3.
Penny Dora and The Wishing Box gets 4 out of 5 creepy voices…
Penny Dora & the Wishing Box #2 (of 5)
Writer: Stock, Michael
Artist: Grace, Sina
Cover Artist: Grace, Sina
On Sale: December 03, 2014
Diamond Id: OCT140755
Format: LIMITED SERIES