The Lonesome Hunters #2 somehow manages to make magpies be terrifying. That is, more terrifying than they already are. You know, if you’re familiar with what magpies are like during their breeding season in Australia.

The Lonesome Hunters #2: Details

"The Lonesome Hunters #2" cover art by Tyler Crook.
Who knew magpies could be so scary just by giving them hands? Cover artist: Tyler Crook.

The Lonesome Hunters #2 is the 2nd issue of this fantasy action-adventure horror comic book series (review for issue #1 here). Tyler Crook remains the writer, artist, and letterer behind it; as well as being the cover artist. Lastly, as with the previous issue, Dark Horse Comics is responsible for publishing this comic book.

The Lonesome Hunters #2 was released on July 20, 2022, for a retail price of $3.99. You can purchase both the digital and physical versions directly from Dark Horse Comics.

Warning: spoilers for The Lonesome Hunters #2 below. If you want to see why magpies are so frightening for yourself, then stop here, and come back once you’ve brushed off the black and white feathers from your escape.

The Lonesome Hunters #2: Plot Summary

"The Lonesome Hunters #2" preview page 1.
Who is he? Don’t know, and we don’t get to find out this issue either.

The Lonesome Hunters #2 starts us off with what initially looks like a bit of a non sequitur. A naked, bearded fae man awakens from his slumber in some ancient forest somewhere, feeling that someone has been using his sword. He then wanders off after his sword.

The story then cuts back to Howard as he tries to use said sword against the evil, magical magpie possessing Lupe’s uncle. With a little help from Lupe in the form of a thrown coffee mug, he succeeds in slaying said magpie. Unfortunately, Lupe’s uncle turns out to be dead, likely the second the magpie started possessing him. Even worse, the magpie recognized the sword before it died, and magically called for reinforcements. Howard and Lupe flee their apartment with a flock of very angry talking magpies in pursuit, and only barely manage to get onto a subway in time. With Lupe’s uncle dead and magpies staking out the apartment, neither Howard nor Lupe really has anywhere to stay. Fortunately, Howard knows someone who can offer them sanctuary.

A Temporary Reprieve?

"The Lonesome Hunters #2" preview page 2.
The only thing I can say about this guy is that he neither looks nor acts evil.

Said someone turns out to be a woman named Tina, who does indeed agree to let Howard and Lupe crash at her place. She also seems to have a history with Howard. They argue about said history and what’d just happened while Lupe stuffs her face in the kitchen nearby. The night for them ends with all of them going into a troubled sleep from the events of that day.

Meanwhile, though, a magpie flies over to an abandoned building to call for its “queen”. It reports that while they’ve not found the queen’s stolen watch, they did see the sword, which is apparently “ancient”, “first”, and the “treasure stolen from the god”. The queen then rises up, revealing herself to be an eldritch magpie abomination with a totem for a head, and sends out her “spies” to find for her the sword. While also revealing that she has other magpie-possessed corpses under her command, no less. How will Howard and Lupe deal with a bunch of magpie zombies? Well, that’s presumably what we’ll find out in The Lonesome Hunters #3.

The Lonesome Hunters #2: The Good

"The Lonesome Hunters #2" preview page 3.
There’s something whimsical about how the characters randomly turn almost chibi at times.

The story is definitely the best part of The Lonesome Hunters #2. The small stakes of the story combined with how hard the characters try to make their struggles seem more personable and intimate, despite how minor the threat seems when compared to something like Thanos. You also get this sense that there’s a lot more going on in this conflict than the main character realizes, especially with the forest god at the beginning. One look at him, and you can tell that this isn’t an evil being in the slightest. Maybe a bit pissed off that his sword had been stolen, but not really evil. Even the magpies, while their means are evil, their goal is just to get their shiny watch back…that Lupe’s uncle apparently stole from them in the first place. It’s this kind of moral complexity that makes the story the best part of this comic book.

Tyler Crook’s art is the other reason why The Lonesome Hunters #2 is great. His art alternates between the dark gritty tones of the action and horror scenes, to the almost chibi-like cutesy art during the light-hearted scenes or whenever the characters have a bit of a hiccup. Honestly, that kind of style gives his comic an almost-manga feel that appeals to me.

As another plus: the magpies are cute. Yes, I know they’re evil, but they just look cute. Even when they’re possessing corpses like fluffy little bird puppeteers. Hey, I can’t help it. I like birds. Especially when these birds are just as obsessed with shiny things as real magpies are.

The Lonesome Hunters #2: The Bad

"The Lonesome Hunters #2" preview page 4.
Not a good idea to trip with a sword. It’s like tripping with a big knife, which is what a sword basically is.

Honestly, I can’t think of a single thing to criticize about The Lonesome Hunters #2. I like the story, the art, and the birds. Really, I just wish there were more cute birds in this story. Even then, I’m pretty sure we’re going to get them in the next issue, even when said cute birds are being evil bastards.

Source: Dark Horse Comics