The first issue of James Tynion and Álvaro Martínez Bueno’s The Nice House on the Lake set up an end of the world scenario with a huge cast and a mysterious host at the center of it, all of them weathering the apocalypse inside a well-stocked house. The people who were spared the final moments of human existence are all in shock come issue #2 of the series, and they’re in a mad scramble for answers.
Us readers can only be certain of one thing once the second part of the story has reached its final page: Tynion and Martínez Bueno are still on their way to give us one of the best new comic series of the year.
The Nice House on the Lake #2 puts its cast of characters through the wringer as they try to make some sense of how the world just decided to self-combust and melt almost everyone not on the house with them. Emotions run high and there’s a sense of disconnection among the guests. Reality as they knew it just stopped and anything that comes after the event is now going to be post-apocalyptic. Not an easy realization to come to.
Tynion and Martínez Bueno employ a few different techniques to the storytelling here to shake things up while also building the world their characters inhabit. For instance, the comic contains several pages that unravel as an official log of things said during certain moments immediately after the world seemingly ended. This presents the possibility some kind of secret group or organization is behind it all, perhaps torturing or experimenting with the people at the house for reasons unknown.
This is one of the series’ strong suits, guiding readers to make dark assumptions on what’s actually happening. In a sense, the horror on display in the comic is being driven by elements more commonly found in the Mystery genre. There’s a bit of a “whodunnit” at play here and it helps make the comic an even richer and more complex mystery box in the process.
Martínez Bueno’s art continues to impress in issue #2, presenting everything and everyone in a kind of haze that just deepens the horror being experienced by everyone in the house. It helps that Martínez Bueno also proves to have complete control over the characters’ body language. It’s theatrical, to a point, in terms of making the reader take everything into account to get a better sense of the story.
The Nice House on the Lake is an intoxicating read, period. It’s hard to stop pouring over each panel, each line of dialogue trying to figure everything out. Issue #2 gives readers enough story to keep them hooked while also teasing so much more horror to come. The monthly wait is starting to get difficult, and I can only see it getting harder to hold out till the next chapter.
Story: James Tynion, Art: Álvaro Martínez Bueno, Colors: Jordie Bellaire Publisher: DC Black Label
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy, read, read it again, come up with multiple theories, repeat