Okay, so no vampires in North 40 #2 other than a passing mention, and it looks like the two from issue #1 won't be coming back, but that's all right. This issue is about our heroes, as well as establishing the main baddie (at least until the really scary monster shows up). There is talk of "things" that are still in hiding, though, so let's hope some of them are of the fanged variety. Besides, you can't not like a comic that opens with a giant stepping on a bug-man.
The giant is the aforementioned main baddie, aka Dave Atterhull. Former drunken miscreant, he's the new alpha in the Atterhull clan (all of whom seem unaffected by recent events), and has decided to take control of the local dive ("The Howdy Holler"). His super size comes along with super strength (the kind that lets one throw a truck through a wall should he be so inclined--and he is). He doesn't really seem so bad until we find out he's been holding the dive's waitress for some future nefarious purpose. Lucky for her, Sheriff Morgan can outsmart Dave even if he doesn't stand a chance fighting him.
Sheriff Morgan is one of the few white hats left. Without any apparent powers of his own, and not exactly a young man, I'm wondering how long before he wears himself out fighting the chaos that's taken over Conover County. At least he's getting help in the form of telepathic messages from Amanda, and crow-delivered notes from Luanne.
Luanne is the stereotypical good girl, working at the cafe on a Friday night instead of going out and partying with the other kids. When all hell broke loose (apparently literally), Luanne woke up with glowing green eyes and the ability to "see" everything going on. She's the one who told the Sheriff (via bird) that he needed to save the waitress from the Atterhulls. She also warns of the things that are still hiding, and that a barrier is preventing anyone from leaving (or presumably entering) Conover County. It seems she can also project her consciousness into animals, although that occasionally leads to unexpected screaming and fainting when one of the poor things gets killed.
Amanda, meanwhile, has been in training with a nameless, ancient witch in the hopes of ultimately being able to defeat the evil that's still on its way. Carrying a scythe, she's sent out to find the two idiots who accidentally invoked the evil in the first place. Along the way she comes across the Sheriff and gets him to give her a ride. After she finds the crater where the library (and the idiots) used to be, she reminds the Sheriff that she told him (telepathically) not to let the super-farmboy out of his sight. Too bad he has more than that to worry about with the latest missive from Luanne.
"Super-farmboy" is Wyatt, apparently impervious to harm and with the handy ability to fly. He's too preoccupied to really test out his powers, though, what with the uncertain fate of his father and the bullying he still has to endure (you'd think the bullies might have better things to worry about). But it seems now that his main tormenter, Dwyer Martin, has been endowed with telekinesis, he's decided to finish Wyatt off. Wyatt proves to be more of a challenge, however, and even more than he normally would be as he's helped out by the sudden appearance of a man-eating mound of dirt that looks uncannily like his dad.
Issue #2 propels the story forward nicely and gives us a chance to get to know the main characters better. I expect now that we have a sense of the good guys, we'll be seeing more of the assorted monsters and demons in Issue #3, including, from what we see at the end of this issue, some upcoming zombie action. With any luck, vampires won't be long in following (on a related note, any future reviews of North 40 will be limited to the issues that include vampires).
Sheriff Morgan: These are what they call "interestin' times," Mr. Atterhull. In light of that, I'm willin' to let a few things slide.
Sheriff Morgan: You appear to have soiled your farmin' equipment, Miss Amanda.
Amanda: Yeah, and if somethin' eight feet tall with six legs files a complaint, you can arrest me.
Miss Sparks: (on seeing the traumatized waitress) You poor dear. Come inside, and don't mind the coffee-drinking demon. Jesus protects us.
North 40 #2 "An' the Word Was Law"; art by Fiona Staples, written by Aaron Williams. From DC Comics/WildStorm.