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Show’s End: The Second Coming #1 – Mad Cave Studios

Show's End Second Coming #1 Featured Image

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Show’s End: The Second Coming #1 tells the story of a traveling carnival caught up in a flurry of mysteries. A strong start to a story about those that society views as freaks and unwanted. The series is written by Anthony Cleveland with art by Jeferson Sadzinski.

The Details

  • Written by Anthony Cleveland
  • Art by Jeferson Sadzinski
  • Coloring by Fabi Marques
  • Lettering by Justin Birch
  • Cover art by Jeferson Sadzinski
  • Cover price: $3.99
  • Release date: July 27, 2022

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Show's End: The Second Coming #1 - Published by Mad Cave Studios
Show’s End: The Second Coming #1 Front Cover

Show’s End: The Second Coming #1 Story

There are two facts that I feel I should make note of for this review. The first is that I never read the five issues of Show’s End that are the prelude to Show’s End- The Second Coming, I don’t believe I was even aware of it before reading this issue. That means that I am coming into this without any of the prior story, without any foreknowledge to assist the story being told to me.

If you’re worried you need to have read the original Show’s End before this then let me assure you that that is most certainly not the case. This issue finds a rather organic way to quickly introduce the characters and their situation without it feeling too heavy handed. I had no confusion as to what was happening and by the end what I felt was a decent grasp on nearly all of the characters.

The second fact is that I suffer from coulrophobia; a fear of clowns. This made me a little hesitant to decide to read and review it, since this fear can get pretty bad with the wrong stimuli. Thankfully, at least for me, any clown imagery within was not triggering (outside of a little minor anxiety). Though I cannot imagine many with coulrophobia would be quick to pick up a book about any kind of traveling circus/show, if yours is not particularly strong the first issue should be fine for you. Though I cannot say what the future issues hold.

Outside of these two things, this first issue does a strong job of putting everything in place and setting up multiple mysteries (though it is possible at least one is only a mystery to me for not having read the previous five issues). Each mystery is given its own space to breathe and be set-up, and each hooks in its own way.

Yet the most important part, for me anyway, is that at the core of this dark fantasy mystery of a story is humanity. It’s quickly clear that the main characters care about each other as family, even, or perhaps especially, when they don’t agree with each other, and it is this bond that is the glue of the story. You care about the characters because they care about each other. It makes all the mystery and fantasy feel real.

Show’s End: The Second Coming #1 Art

My first thought from looking at the art was that it had an almost animated cartoon aesthetic, yet with a dark edge to it. Gritty feels like the wrong word, but there’s this gloomy tone to the art even when the focus is bright and colourful. It creates this wonderful atmosphere that permeates every page. It feels as if there’s something always lurking in the background waiting to ensnare the characters in its web.

Sadzinski plays to the old rule that the most powerful special effect available to a visual story-teller is the close-up. Focus on faces is used incredibly well to pin the story in emotion, connecting us with the feelings of the main cast or building a sense of foreboding through the framing of particular characters. The emotion in each character’s expression feel raw, and that rawness drives the story forwards.

I love the contrast in colour between the main cast and the backgrounds, and the story it tells. Our main characters are put in brighter and warmer tones, while the background (and even other characters) are portrayed in more cool tones that blend together. This creates a real division between our traveling carnival and the world around them. They feel foreign to it, separate from it. The colours reflect their place within the world and society, they are outsiders in every sense. It is only within their own space that the world matches their warmth.

Check Out Show’s End: The Second Coming #1

If this sounds like your brand of entertainment, then you can go to Mad Cave Studios, or inquire at your local comic shop about a physical copy. It is available in stores from July 27, 2022.

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