The first night at a new place is never an easy adjustment, but for four new students at Blackwood College, their night has become a a true nightmare. Wren, Reiko, Dennis and Stephen followed Blackwood’s dean, Howard Ogden, to a nearby mausoleum, where it’s revealed that Ogden is no longer completely human. Dark magic has transformed the dean into a hellish creature that drags Stephen into a well, where Stephen witnesses a ritual he does not understand and is spit back out. As the school officials and the four students begin assess the growing presence of the forces of darkness, what other secrets lie ahead for Blackwood College?
Issue two of Blackwood introduces the truth reality of the college. To the public eye, Blackwood College appears to be an alternate institution for wayward teens, but in the hidden sight, Blackwood serves as a magical academy to train students in the occult to fight dark magic. Not everyone on the campus knows of the occult training, and only select candidates that have experience some mystical connections are allowed to train. However, at the events of the first night, Wren, Reiko, Dennis and Stephen get to jump a few grades and get the advance course to fighting creatures of chaos. It was implied that these four students all had some hidden talents in the prior issue. At the moment Wren and Reiko have displayed some sort of powers, but Dennis and Stephen have yet to reveal theirs. But a college where the dean has become a blood dripping monster, water spirits try to drown people and science experiments waiting to attack; it’s only a matter of time for these students to get a crash course in becoming true oculists.
This issue keeps the horror dialed back a bit to reveal more of the surrounds of Blackwood, the characters and what is causing the dean to become a freakish monster. The character of Mr. Colby is fun to watch as he frantically handles a growing list of responsibilities at college, and sneaking in a quote from Anchorman (I notice what you did there Evan!). The artwork accomplishes the comedy and horror elements very well, with humorist expressions on everyone’s faces and grotesque creature designs. There is still plenty of mysterious to discover and other areas to explore in next month’s issue.