Reviewed by Paul Stotts"I love you, Mom." - Raymond Delgado "Welcome to Hoxford #2"
After a tremendous first issue, I've been eagerly awaiting the return of Ben Templesmith's ultra-creepy and stunningly cool comic series Welcome to Hoxford. Well the wait is over and I can happily say that the second issue does not disappoint as Templesmith ratchets up the insane prison mayhem and horror here to mindblowing levels. Now if only all comics could be this deliciously fun.
Doctor Ainley is still pestering Warden Baker to let her consult with her patient, the incarcerated Raymond Delgado. Exasperated, Baker finally gives in, allowing the doctor to see Delgado on one condition: she's to never come back. Meanwhile, Delgado is becoming increasingly delusional since he's stopped taking his medication. Ainley discovers this egregious negligence by the prison during her meeting with Raymond. Seeking to immediately remedy the situation, Ainley confronts Baker about giving Raymond his medicine. But Baker has other more sinister things occupying his attentions and locks Ainley in his office. Alone in Warden Baker's office, Ainley makes a chilling discovery that reveals more about the mystery surrounding Hoxford prison.
From a tremendious opening scene in which a delusional Raymond has a conversation with a talking rat who he believes is his mother to the ominous cliffhanger ending, Welcome to Hoxford #2 is a incredibly enjoyable and ghoulish delight. Ben Templesmith populates every aspect of the issue with a wonderful ultra-weirdness, which really elevates it above most comic series today. The plotting and dialogue are shrewd. Templesmith never reveals to much, instead feeding the reader tantalizing little bits of information.
Unfortunately, the artwork in the issue looks a little more rushed and doesn't match the stunning quality Templesmith turned in for the first issue. Still, Templesmith is such an incredible stylist that even work of a lesser quality is vastly intriguing and worth seeing. Just the way he employs color in his scenes is worth the price of admission.
Welcome to Hoxford #2 admirably builds upon the amazing foundation laid down by the first issue. Ben Templesmith once again flexes his incredible artistic powers by producing another staggering must read issue.