Review: ‘House Of Gold & Bones’ #2

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With its premise already established, House Of Gold & Bones #2 pushes the narrative forward and focuses on its central protagonist. In his musical crossover to comics, Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor offers readers an nightmarish underbelly, which is quite appealing in the artwork. This is a thrilling read about the gripping fear of the unknown.

WRITTEN BY: Corey Taylor
ART BY: Richard Clark
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE: May 22nd, 2013

A young man, “Zero,” wakes up in an alternate reality that may or may not be Hell. Wearing a prisoner’s uniform, Zero is being chased by the evil that lurks in the darkness. He is being hunted by a gang of warriors who think they actually know who he is. With their murderous red eyes on him, Zero doesn’t know where to go and who to trust. With the forest never ending, Zero has no place to rest after feeling exhausted. He can only continue running, even if his feet ache in agony. If Zero stops running, the only thing that awaits for him is death.

As a storyteller, Taylor continues to build the mystery surrounding his protagonist. A group of hostile warriors think the amnesiac is really 486, someone they have been looking for. Because Zero is wearing a prisoner’s uniform, is he a vicious killer just like the people chasing after him? Readers could really be rooting for an antagonist and they don’t even know it. Though Zero is given a bit of back-story, there are more questions than answers revealed in this issue.

I am wondering if Zero does have multiple personalities. In the forest, Zero meets another stranger named Peck. When these two meet, Peck serves his purpose for two reasons. The first motive is give readers information about this nightmarish world, which has its own set of rules. The other explanation is that Peck represents a kinder, gentler aspect of Zero’s split personality. Notice when Peck abruptly leaves, Zero is screaming like a madman.

In Richard Clark’s illustrations, I really liked the detail to Black John’s character design. Black John is tough, grizzled, and looks like he just came from a bar fight. Notice that Black John has a scarf wrapped around one of his hands, as if he cut himself. His stretched-out jacket, which is ripped at the sleeves, is also hiding something. When he’s not wearing the jacket, Black John has a shoulder pad made of spikes attached to himself.

One of my favorite parts of Clark’s imagery is when Zero ends up hallucinating during a flashback. When he finds himself at a crowded party, Zero tries to engage in the conversation. Everyone at the party stops and stares at Zero when he speaks. In the uncomfortable silence, the partygoers suddenly start to melt and turn into bloodthirsty demons.

With a cast of weird characters, “House of Gold and Bones” #2 continues to be an interesting journey into a nightmarish reality. Though questions remain unanswered, I look forward to the development of the mystery in the next issue.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis