A young boy’s parents are murdered in front of him. It’s a story comic fans know well. But in Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy, creators Jeff Lemire and Tonči Zonjić put a unique spin on a familiar setup. The newest offering from Lemire’s Black Hammer universe is the darkest so far, an ode to the grim-n-gritty comics of the ’80s and early ’90s that opens not just with the murder of the boy-who-would-be-Skeleton-Boy’s parents, but also the brutal killing of their killer at the hands of the boy’s soon-to-be mentor. Now, after rescuing the boy from becoming a ward of the state, Skulldigger is ready to begin his training—provided Amanda Reyes, the detective who’s hellbent on capturing the vigilante and rescuing the boy, doesn’t get to them first.

Check out this preview, exclusive to The Beat, of the first five pages of Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy #2. The second chapter of the six-issue Dark Horse Comics series is due out in stores and digitally next Wednesday, January 15th, 2020.

Written by Jeff Lemire
Illustrated by Tonči Zonjić
Lettered by Steve Wands
Covers by Tonči Zonjić and James Harren

Skulldigger: well-meaning hero or violent murderer? As Skeleton Boy trains with an uncompromising Skulldigger, a hard-nosed detective seeks them out, determined to link the vigilante to the murders that orphaned the boy. But soon super-villain Grimjim’s plans come to a head, threatening to throw Spiral City into chaos.

Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy #2

Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy #2

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Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy #2

Skulldigger + Skeleton Boy #2

Cover A by Tonči Zonjić
Cover B by James Harren