$9.99 (contains issues 1&2)
Before the resistance can truly get a chance to mourn their loss, a new threat emerges! Can Victor overcome his own dark side in order to get the job done or will his psychological struggle end up getting him killed?
(Note this is a review for issue 1, issue 2 is reviewed separately)
Issue #2 picks up a little bit after the events of issue #1. The resistance is holding a funeral for Chloe, the young girl who died while saving Victor. The entire ordeal proves to be too much for Victor who suddenly slips into a coma like state, reliving a harsh past memory. In this flash back we get introduced to the earliest moment of his “psychosis”, as his darker half appears to save Victor from an harassing bully. Jump back to present time, and we see that this is an ongoing problem and it’s only going to get worse. To help combat his duality, Victor trains with a martial arts master known as Li. This is about where the issue started to fall apart a little for me. Li is stereotypically the “old Asian wise martial arts master” from the look to the clichéd sayings; everything screams this is a guy who just stepped out of Wu-Tang film (no not the rap group). I have to say for the most part Atkins continued Noir style was working for me, but once Li was introduced it just felt like a real missed opportunity.
Why is an Ancient Master here teaching the way of Kung Fu? Its 2034, humanity has its back against the wall, all these other great technological advancements, but we got an old kung fu guy. It would have helped the story to somehow see something unique, or different here. The dueling argument with Victor’s dark side kept the pacing a little more interesting, and the fact Li was able to read Victor’s mind was interesting (is this guy a genetically gifted being? Why is he helping humanity?) but if Victor can take down the master as his dark self, it sort of defeats the purpose of Victor learning at all. Perhaps it would be time better spent meditating or trying to find alternate ways to repress the dark side. In contrast, I did enjoy the quick flashback sequence showing the turn in Victor, and would actually have loved to see Atkins and Coates take the character even further off the edge, maybe flipping out and beating the hell out of the bully and the kids trying to pull him off, establishing this dark side is close to full blown psychopath that maybe over the years Victor has gotten a little bit in check. Perhaps this and other story elements will be played upon further as this issue lays the ground work for future confrontation with two weapon wielding “gifted” people that should prove deadly for Victor in issue #3!
The Hey!: Some nice backstory and a better establishment of just what’s going on in Victor’s head.
The Eh: The whole ancient martial arts master thing. It felt basic, and not something a book like this needs.
The What?!: Beautiful work from Coates on the flash back scene setting up the psychotic breakdown of Victor as a child.
Who should read this series?: Fans of apocalyptic future stories, anyone into a distinct “us vs them” concept, and some good old fashioned B&W comic books!
Why should you buy this book?: To support indie creators and get a good looking well thought out book in the process.