Courtesy of Black Mask Studios.

Courtesy of Black Mask Studios.

By Stefania Rudd. The mystery continues to unfold in the second issue of Curt Pires’ The Forevers. It’s clear whatever force is coming after the remaining six characters of our compelling melodrama will not rest until they are all eliminated. A terrifying notion in an engrossing comic book series.

As we learned in issue #1 (of which Brandy had some thoughts), there’s a consensus between Jamie Ashby and his former cohorts that one of them is definitely the fiend behind all this ominous dread. However, we’re still learning about each character and we’ve yet to be introduced to a few (in fact, Pires refers to one of them as “Schrodinger’s Doherty”), so at this point it could be anyone — who’s to say that it is in fact any of them? Maybe that’s the path we’re expected to follow, but as my gut and my Magic 8-Ball would say, “Cannot predict now.”

Before I delve deeper into the story, I have to first mention how perfect Eric Scott Pfeiffer’s artwork is for this series. There were probably many different ways to visually take this story, but Pfeiffer manages it in a way that is at once different, unique, and thrilling. The characters and surroundings are so lifelike in Pfeiffer’s care, just steps away from the art-chic photographs that populate more discerning magazines, with skilled enhancements that only Photoshop would envy. The people and places found within The Forevers look and feel familiar, which comes in handy when Pires very cleverly employs the TMZ-like tabloid articles that both establish the book’s world of celebrity and the sensationalism that surrounds it.

Courtesy of Black Mask Studios.

Courtesy of Black Mask Studios.

Pires takes the story further by revealing another layer in the characters’ lives, this time exposing us more to Bronson Pierce, allowing us insight on what makes him tick. We receive the story in real time, but Pires peppers glimpses into the past in order for us to better understand the dichotomies at play.

That’s handy, because we have to understand a few things about these people in order for this story to work, primarily the tenuous trust they place on each other (because of their shared blood pact). But even before Daisy was knocked off it seemed like they all slept with one eye open. “You’ve ‘made it,’” the book seems to be telling us, “but one false move and you’ll find yourself flat on your back.” And there’s the hook of The Forevers: They can’t fail… so long as they stay alive.

Black Mask Studios/$3.99

Written by Curt Pires.

Art by Eric Scott Pfeiffer.

Letters by Colin Bell.

8 out of 10