Collecting issues #6-12, INSIDE MAN follows Tom Taylor's arrest for the brutal murders at the conclusion of the previous volume and focuses primarily upon his incarceration for these crimes. Although in some ways less magical than the prior installment, the series matures as a result of the day-to-day, real life exploration Mike Carey and Peter Gross undertake. In fact, the magic is far more subtle and woven into the plot as the "Jud Süss" and "Eliza Mae Hertford's Willowbank Tales" episodes illustrate. As a result, the paranormal effect is reinforced and the surreal made all the more tangible.
INSIDE MAN is also a study in character. Not only do audiences learn more about the central figures of Tom and Lexie, as well as become acquainted with the third member of the team, Richie Savoy, but they are also introduced to the familial dynamics of auxiliary individuals involved and linked to the prison through its administrator, Governor Claude-Luis Chadron. While volume one cast an air of fantasy about the roles of Tom and Lexie, Carey and Gross ground the protagonists in this collection without losing any features that connected them with the audience. Readers learn that Tom is much more than a spoiled or distant child riding on the coattails of his father's fame and success; instead, the protagonist displays an uncharacteristically powerful command of real world survival skills and traits as he engages with fellow prisoners and defends himself from assault.
The central theme of volume two is one of fictional creations and the power and significance audiences attach to them. For example, Tom's own process of self-awareness and actualization is juxtaposed alongside a conversation with Frankenstein, a recurring mentor sequence throughout the series. Although Tom battles to distinguish and differentiate the blurred lines and barriers between fiction and reality as he fights against the continued signs that challenge his perceptions --- the winged cat, the tattoo upon his left hand, Frankenstein, and the spectral Sir Roland visiting him outside his cell --- the reverse is explored through the children of Governor Chadron, Le