After the first season of Comic Book Men opened the doors of the Secret Stash comic-book store to television for all to see, AMC soon went ahead with a second season with Kevin Smith, Walt Flanagan, Mike Zapcic, Ming Chen and Bryan Johnson all returning.
This time, the show would be spread out over 16 episodes instead of just 6, each of them half the length of what they were in the last season. And although this meant a more rushed pace and less time with the Stash gang, Season 2 did well to manage this new format by not over-crowding and overloading the episodes. In terms of guest appearances, there are thankfully not too many with Jason Mewes popping up in a couple of episodes and the season ending with Walt meeting some veteran Jersey Devils hockey players. The highlight guests-wise has to be Stan Lee who shows up at the Stash for a photo-shoot and answers some of the cast's geekiest questions. It's a fun tribute to Lee and comic-book fans should really enjoy the few times he appears during this season.
Stories-wise, the show certainly gets more creative this time around as we see Ming and Mike get married Fantastic Four-style, the Stash hosting a kids' birthday party, the cast going head-to-head when trying to make the perfect sandwich and everyone playing charades in the store. The best of the bunch, arguably, is the episode where everyone pulls their resources to organize an auction to raise money for an old customer's medical bills along with Ming and Mike's zombie charity run and the creation of Walt and Bryan's comic-book The Cryptozoic Man. While a few episodes in this season come off as a little bit out of place (the sandwich, the Asteroids arcade game), some of the stories are anti-climactic and the shorter running time means less interactions between the staff, this is still a solid, fun season with plenty of enjoyably nerdy moments and dark humour from Walt and Bryan.
It's a testament to the people involved that the show still works after the significant change in running time as you get a decent balance between seeing these friends joke around, the transactions and the gimmicky stunts. Fans of the first season should have a great time with this one.