We sometimes get accused of only covering the first issues of certain series, so here is a quick looks at some favourite recent #2s.
Wolverton: Thief of Impossible Objects #2 (Wolverton Comics)
Gentlemen thief and collector of impossible objects, Wolverton is back, and this time he is eyeing up the cursed mysterious hope diamond. But can he manage to outfox Inspector Munroe of the yard as well as some familiar faces from issue #1? This is another fantastic slice of pulpy vintage cat burgling action from writers Michael Stark and Terrell T Garrett. With its tongue very firmly in its cheek, Wolverton is a celebration of all those classics 30s and 40s gentleman thief cliches with echoes of early Batman and the Shadow with it’s society balls, butler sidekicks and shadowy misadventures. It is a really fun and enjoyable read as it is not trying to subvert or re-imagine everything, it’s just a celebration of the silliness of the genre – from robot decoys, to canes with cameras in the eyes – as Wolverton uses everything at his disposal to stay one step ahead of the law and avoid capture. Stark and Garrett are clearly having loads of fun coming up with these silly scenarios for Wolverton to get himself into and out of, while artist Jackie Lewis uses a very classic style but with enough of a contemporary edge to make it feel more than just a lazy knock off of an old Shadow book. With both the writing and art they update thing just enough to make it feel fresh, but without losing the charm of where it’s come from, and that is no easy task. So if you like you crime books to be more of a caper (like Bandette or the Green Hornet), rather than a gritty expose of corrupt law enforcement then this will definitely steal your attention!
Purchase a digital copy of Wolverton #2 for $4.00 from www.wolvertoncomicbook.com
Transfer #2 (Lab Rat Comics)
Continuing his ambition to release 10 comics in 2019, we get yet another Matt Garvey comic to read this month! After the debuts of the excellent Untitled Generic Space Comedy and Prey For Us comes the long overdue return of one of Garvey’s previous creations – Transfer. Set in a world where people’s consciences can be transferred from one person to another to avoid DNA tracking, courier Steve gets caught up with an unsavoury type when he transports a mind he wishes he hadn’t. Issue #2 picks up the story with Steve’s mind in the head of friend Grace and he must attempt to get it out of there before they have to share an intimate moment. As their lab is destroyed they need to find an alternative body for Steve to inhabit, which sets the story in a very unlikely direction as Steve ends up in one he didn’t quite expect. Garvey has taken this slice of Philip K Dick esque dystopian sci-fi and given it the slick polish of a Mark Millar comic. The dialogue fizzes along and Garvey revels in the silliness of the concept, which stops it from getting bogged down and becoming a sub-Matrix/Johnny Mnemonic pastiche. While at times it is may go a bit far and end up a bit cheesy (for example some of the obvious body swap jokes) that sense of humour is what fans expect from a Matt Garvey book and it would be a weaker product without it. Artist Eder Messiah has really upped his game since issue #1, giving the whole thing a Humberto Ramos or even John Romita Jr kind of style to the characters, with lots of expressive faces and high energy poses to go with the grungey lo-fi tech. All of this is made even cooler by some excellent colours from Allison Hu which give the whole thing a grimy earthy tone (which reminded us of the recent Kick Ass series), that goes well with the analogue style tech of the world. Another fantastic offering from Garvey and perhaps his best issue of the year so far.
Our Final Halloween #2 (Mike Garley Comics)
Like all good horror franchises, Mike Garley and Michael Lee-Graham’s high concept one shot Our Final Halloween has evolved into a 4 part super series. While issue #1 was built around the WTF moment of a group of teens waking up in a haunted house covered in blood, issue #2 is all about giving that moment some context. While issue #1 left us with more questions than answers, issue #2 does a fantastic job of explaining more about what happened in the house and building the character and concepts into a more fleshed out mystery. Garley does this in a mixture of ways, from a simple summary page at the beginning, through to the snappy dialogue his characters exchange throughout. He also gives the story an end point, by setting the clock ticking on a countdown to the next Halloween where the kids can aim to get some resolution about what happened in the house. While this issue has less action and pace than the first, it is the better for it and it begins to evolve into a really smart Stephen King meets Stranger Things style chiller, rather than a gory haunted house tale. It focuses on the post trauma state of those involved and mixes emotional moments of grief with sharp one liners to create a really smart and well constructed read. Artist Graham matches the excellent writing with his eye-popping visuals which use some of the most unique colour combinations we will see in comics this year. While it may hurt our eyes in places, it gives everything a real uniqueness to it and stops Our Final Halloween from feeling like a generic indie horror. Quite the opposite in fact, it ends up being something really exciting and fresh. Unlike a lot of horror sequels, Our Final Halloween has a real purpose to it, as it grows and develops the story in really interesting ways. After a solid, if slightly frustrating debut, Our Final Halloween has been rebooted into a really intriguing, compelling, supernatural thriller which we can’t wait to see resolve itself.