Highest House #2
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist and Letterer: Peter Gross
Colorist: Fabien Alquier
Review by Michael Farris, Jr.
The slave boy Moth is getting more antiquated with the Highest House in every sense, from his duties as a roofer to the mysterious voice that calls to him at night. As the voice—named Obsidian—gets more insistent on Moth’s allegiance, stranger occurrences are happening all around Moth. As the stakes get higher, Moth’s journey takes him deeper into the roots of Highest House (literally and metaphorically) and he begins to learn the mysteries of who he really is.
There’s a lot that seems to have improved in this issue since the last one. Highest House #2 is not as text heavy; the information dumps aren’t overwhelming; and the pace is better overall as we get more interaction between Moth and the voice of Obsidian.
All that said, I’m still having a really hard time being invested in this series. I think one of the more telling signs of that is that when Moth is in peril, I didn’t care about the outcome. Everything about this series feels like you’re viewing it from afar. It seems nice and all, but forgettable after you keep moving. There’s a lot of questions left open and a lot of questions answered in this book, but at this point, I don’t see a reason to keep going.
The artwork is borderline distracting as well. There’s a lot of detail in the backgrounds to the point where it ends up in the gutters and ends up feeling hectic. The characters all feel too cartoonish for the amount of detail that goes into the background. The coloring gives it a good, rustic feel, but rustic in this case adds to the doldrums of the book.
Verdict: Skip it.
I really didn’t want to come to this conclusion based on the publisher and the stellar creative team, but Highest House #2 isn’t enough to save this series from being a dud. Again, you just don’t really care about any of the characters, and while this issue is mildly more interesting than the first, you’re still not quite sure why you took the time to read this.