REVIEW: ‘Broken Gargoyles,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Broken Gargoyles

Broken Gargoyles #2 is published by Source Point Press, written by Bob Salley, art by Stan Yak, colors by Robert Nugent, with lettering by Justin Birch. As William prepares for his mission to hunt down Prescott, his target is on the move. With the stolen weapons he acquired in the last issue, Prescott looks to make a deal with an interested party. Though things might not go as planned.

Family is complicated. Family consists of people we have a deep and emotional bond with. They are supposedly there for us, just as we will be for them. But is this bond unbreakable? How much do we owe those who become family? And does this bond ever require us not to help them but to stop them? Can it make us oppose as much as it can drive us to support? Is that an equally understandable thing to do? I think so. And there are those in Broken Gargoyles #2 who would seem to agree.

With this issue’s opening the wold expands a bit. Broken Gargoyles #2 introduces us to a Russian faction. What exactly their cause is seems a bit unclear, but they are caught up in a peace deal going down in Manhattan. And since it’s stated that the Tzar is attending, history for Russia in this world is clearly a bit different than ours. I hope that exactly what the Russian situation is within the world of Broken Gargoyles is cleared up. What fractured bits I got here left me feeling a bit confused.

Broken Gargoyles #2 follows up this murky introduction with a glimpse into the past. Through a nightmare William has we get to see what the War was like for those who were in the thick of it. Much of what is shown will be instantly familiar to anyone who has studied the First World War. With the exception of the giant mechanical spider and other steampunk elements of course. But, most importantly, we get to see William and Prescott interact for the first time.

When their position comes under attack during a believed ceasefire, several of their men are wounded and caught outside the trench. Hearing one of them calling for help, William wants to go to the injured man’s rescue but Prescott refuses to let him go. In all likelihood, Prescott saves William’s life at this moment. Yet William clearly struggles with the memory as he is seen bolting upright in bed, his nightmare having shattered his slumber. Why he is seen perpetually drinking becomes ever clearer.

Broken Gargoyles

Shortly thereafter, a man arrives to escort William to a briefing with those who are running the manhunt for Prescott. On their way, he questions why William would be willing to hunt down his former friends. William explains to the man that they are not friends, they are family. But, as William observes, family is always complicated.

The rest of Broken Gargoyles #2 follows Prescott as he rendezvous with the buyer for the equipment he hijacked in the last issue. As one might expect, this meeting fails to go according to plan, particularly once certain motivations reveal themselves and violence ensues.

While this is the main thrust of this portion of the story, it is by no means the highlight. A lot of small character moments sprinkle themselves throughout this portion of the story., some showing sparks of good within some of the story’s characters, while others not so much.

The art in Broken Gargoyles #2 continues to impress. I especially like how the moments during the war separate themselves from the rest of the narrative. These moments shine in an excellently done grainy black and white photo style. While the concept isn’t new, the delivery is spot on. It grants the feeling of roughness to the art, that not all the details remain, and only the most important of points are still present.  By focusing the art this way, these important moments in Broken Gargoyles #2 allow the reader to focus purely on what truly matters in the scenes.

The colorwork by Nugent is also excellent. His use of light and shadow creates some amazing contrasts within the panels of this book. Furthermore, the skillful delivery of light also goes a long way to reinforce the emotions within many of the panels.

Finally, Birch continues to do a wonderful job lettering this book. Everything flows nicely, and never gets in the way of the art.

When all is said and done, Broken Gargoyles #2 continues the strong narrative begun by its predecessor. There are several impactful moments, and I look forward to seeing where the story goes from here.

Broken Gargoyles #2 is available on September 30th wherever comics are sold.

Broken Gargoyles #2
4

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Broken Gargoyles #2 continues the strong narrative begun by it’s predecessor. There are several impactful moments, and I look forward to seeing where the story goes from here.