PSYCHO LIST #2
Writer: Kevin Grevioux
Artist: Jonathan Lau
Colorist: Adriano Augusto
Letterer: Dezy Sienti
Publisher: Blackbox Comics
Who would return to a violent-filled history if it isn’t for the sake of helping a loved one? Therapist Donovan Priete, a former FBI, can’t turn down the assistance he’s needed for, nor can he run from conversations that need answers. In this issue, we see his interactions with someone from the past, putting him in a vulnerable state in remembering unwanted memories. Priete grew up in violence, seeing his mother beaten to death before leaving his two younger siblings and father at home. Now Agent Kane, a previous colleague, has called for his aid in starting a new organization of an unsolved “psycho list”. “These people have a certain pattern that’s real and present. They have unusual memory gaps with things they should know; they suffer from specific migraines and all had appendicitis. But we can’t figure it out because it’s all so abstract.”
What stands out for me is the steady pace of world-building, yet so dense that I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a continuous series. With concise dialogue, we learn a lot about Donovan and his relationships with the people in his world - his puzzled ex-wife, his current patient and brother, along with Agent Kane and Kane’s partner, and what this list entails in the FBI gossip mill. Most of the story is concentrated in conversations yet just a touch of fiction is involved - for now. It isn’t thrown in your face like a new fantasy cash grab, which mirrors the abstraction of how truly mental health issues can be. Yet Donovan does have superhero-like intuition in understanding his patients. If it isn’t sixth sense or deep hypnosis, then what can it tell us, and is it even real? Who are these tooth monsters?
Lau’s art is perfect for this series; he draws facial expressions that are stern and muddled. It’s simple and gritty, and it isn’t trying to be liked. A ton of ¾ shot exists like a television series, while Sienty’s letters suggest us to get comfortable because the story has just begun. The alternating panels of shadows and daylight in Augosto’s colors mean this will be a rollercoaster ride, and the high contrast yet low saturation of colors suggests a sort of humility. This issue gives us a break in seeing Donovan's vigilante side, and he's becoming a likable character. Overall, I’m really digging this book! It’s raw story-telling and has the potential for expanding the series the way it’s developing its characters.