Stillwater #2 Review: A Town Full Of A Bunch of F***ing Blades

In the first issue of Stillwater, the lead character Daniel, after losing his job, took a road trip to investigate a possible inheritance. When he got to his destination, instead of a much-needed sum of money, he discovered something he wasn't supposed to: a town where no one dies. Now, because of happening upon this place he wasn't supposed to, he has lost someone close to him… and maybe now his own life. Stillwater #2 continues this Skybound horror thriller from writer Chip Zdarsky, artist Ramón K. Perez, colorist Mike Spicer, and letterer Rus Wooton.

Stillwater #2 cover. Credit: Image Comics
Stillwater #2 cover. Credit: Image Comics

Merging small-town politics and horror of both the supernatural and "the evil that men do" kind, Zdarsky's writing evokes Stephen King at his uneasy best. This issue is mostly conversation, starting with an evocative flashback and then cutting to now, as the town deals with Daniel's discovery and his upcoming sentencing. Zdarsky masterfully shows character depth in every scene, making the reader wade into deeper waters. The more familiar we become with the situation that both Daniel and the people of Stillwater are in. After last issue's horrific execution, it's hard to believe Zdarsky could so easily make the reader feel… well, feel that they couldn't just let these two guys go. It's gripping writing that asks the reader interesting questions. Also, the "Blade" bit is funny, as Daniel can only reference the daywalkers of Wesley Snipes' late 90s/early 2000s banger of a film series to guess at what's going on in this town.

The artwork from Perez and colors from Spicer work together to create a unique, evocative vibe that brings to mind… and I can't believe I'm going here… the vintage art style you'd see on those creepy sunscreen bottles mixed with traditional, old school horror comics. This mixture adds up to a comic that is spectacular at creating uneasiness in the reader with its visuals, and Wooton's letters complement this style expertly.

As with anything Chip Zdarsky does, from the Applebees days to now, Stillwater is very much worth the read.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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