Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others #2 opens with the monster. It’s not clear what the monster is exactly, but it’s clearly terrifying. It seems as though it’s some kind of spirit, inhabiting the corpse of a dead woman. The monster’s rising from the Mausoleum that Paul was breaking into when he was knocked unconscious last issue. While it resurrects, it spews pseudo-spiritual spooky sh*t like, “Those who believe in me.. Who die for me… likewise shall be restored.”
From there, the issue slows down, giving our hero pets and their new human acquaintances time to talk about what’s been happening. Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others #2 spends too long in that quiet space, losing its forward momentum. In keeping with the series, there’s a monster attack that disturbs that peace. After Paul starts doing things that don’t quite match with his character.
Paul might be doing these out of character things because his possession from last issue isn’t completely exorcised. Or maybe the reader didn’t get a chance to measure his character. After all, he was only introduced last month. Series writer Evan Dorkin plays with that line, adding a layer of psychological horror into a series that’s focused on the supernatural thus far.
Jill Thompson’s art is excellent. She does a great visual tribute to The Birds and as always, Dorkin gives her a unique monster and magic to illustrate.
While Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others #2 has a strong ending and introduces a new layer of intrigue to an already excellent series with the psychological horror, this issue doesn’t feel as complete or as exciting as previous issues has. It never quite gets back all of the momentum after the slow start.
Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others #2 will be released by Dark Horse on June 5th, 2019.
Wicked Rating: 7/10
See our cover of Beasts of Burden: The Presence of Others here: Issue 1