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Early Review: The Pound #2

IDW's online only book reaches its second issue and we get an early look at it.

Back in March, ComicVine got to take an early look at The Pound ( review found here). This book is part of IDW's digital initiative. Comics are slowly moving more and more to a digital format, and trust me, the only problem with digital comics is that there's going to be more free space in your basement because physical issues won't we taking up space.

Last time, Scottie and Howie were two out-of-work guys who decide to start a pest/animal control business, and they end up bagging themselves a werewolf. In this second issue, the guys get to learn a bit more about Werewolf culture and the two different types of werewolves, but don't worry, it's not all explanatory writing. There's a bit of great action and comedy in this issue as well.

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The Good

Once again, this hits the comedy mark for me, especially during one of the battles with a werewolf, where we get to see, quite possibly, the best way to distract a werewolf. We also get to see a brave new way to use a glove.

Joking aside, I was worried, after reading the first issue, that we were going to get into a "secret society" type of story, which Stephan Nilson himself shot down:

"No worries about us taking this too serious, and there is no secret society of werewolves. Scottie and Howie don't become monster hunters in the traditional sense."

This issue could be the explanation for what they end up doing as the team is given a job by a werewolf, and no, it isn't hunting other werewolves.

I'm really like the pacing of this issue. It balances back story and subplots very well. At no time did I feel bored while reading it or think to myself "get to the point." It flows incredibly well, and it kept me very entertained throughout the issue.

The "bad" section of this review is going to make you think I hate the art. I don't at all. In fact, I really enjoy the art work of this series, and even more so in this issue. It's solid work, and the reader gets something a little more than traditional art. They get different perspectives. On page 20, on the last panel, we get a higher angle shot and titled camera (I'm calling it a "camera" because I feel like it) for this scene where the main character has jumped into an awkward situation. It really fits the scene and sets the tone for the on-coming fight. There's a lot of great little moments like that all thanks to panel composition.

The Bad

As I said in the last issue, "the art is the weakest aspect of the book." I didn't particularly feel that way in this issue, except for a couple of panels towards the end of the issue in which the faces on a couple of characters literally made me cringe. It was very deformed looking, and one of the character's eyes were blacked out, yet the lighting and shadows in said panel were coming in from different angles. Lighting and shadow was a bit of a reoccurring problem in the book. A character will have his back to the window on a sunny day, but there are shadows on the back of his head. To be completely honest though, you really have to be nit-picky to pick up on the little things like that.

Lastly, I wish we could see a little bit more of the wife. We got to see what felt like a bit more of her in the first issue, and she's in the second issue for a few pages, but she feels like she's only really there to reiterate the plot. Frankly, I just wish the book was just a few pages longer.

The Verdict - 4/5

Yes, it's a digital comic, and I know I come off as very "pro-digital books," which I am now, but if you remember, two years ago, in one of the first articles I wrote for the vine, I allude to the fact that I hate digital books. In 2011, I love it simply because I gave it a chance. And while there are very few online exclusive books from bigger distributors on your digital comic store shelves, this is a great start for the digital comic revolution. It's a solid book; one I would still pick up if it was in physical print copy.

Enough about the world of digital though. This book entertains: it's funny, well-written, well-drawn, and has great pace to it. Yes, werewolves are in the book, but, at this point, the book really isn't about werewolves. I'd highly recommend picking this book up.

The Pound #2 will be available Tuesday, May 10th, in the IDW storefront.
You can get the first issue FOR FREE here!!!