Image Comics has been dropping a ton of #1 issues in 2014 with much of them either blowing people away or at least delivering something fresh and new. The sad state of #1 issues, though, is the #2 fallout and almost inevitable drop in quality. I take a look at the #2 issue of a series in which I loved the first…is it good?
The Mercenary Sea #2 (Image Comics)
The dreaded exposition-heavy issue number two hits TMS this week, I’m sorry to report. There’s a ton of set up for what’s to come, a back peddling resolution to the cliffhanger of last issue and enough exposition to bore a cat. What that means is a bit of a slog of a read, but it’s not a total loss because we get a bit of character development and plenty of pretty and unique art by Mathew Reynolds.
Silhouette addicts beware!
Some Chinese soldiers had our heroes at gunpoint when we last saw them in issue #1. This issue picks up right where they left off and the first 11 pages are dedicated to resolving this issue. It all blows over a bit too easily and there’s no sense of danger to speak of, probably because there’s so many bullets whizzing conveniently by their heads. We don’t learn much from this interchange beyond the fact that everyone knows their submarine doesn’t have ammo (or does it?), and they’ve all been accused of crimes against the state of China.
The remaining portion of the book recaps the dire straights of the sub and sets up their next big mission. It all reads rather compartimental, as if writer Kel Symons is more interested in getting the characters from scene to scene rather than getting intimate with the characters. This makes the read feel like a collection of moments rather than a flowing sequence. It might be partly due to the crazy color choices and the extreme changes between scenes, but it makes the read feel disjointed.
Reynolds has a really neat style that’s very computer generated looking. This issue doesn’t have quite as many cool effects, partly because there’s so many close ups of characters talking, which is a bit of a drag considering how many there were in issue #1. There’s a few panels that look stiff too, which I didn’t notice in the last issue. Overall though it’s such a unique and colorful visual experience you can’t help but enjoy it.
Is It Good?
Not terribly good no, but it’s passable. Sadly I could see skipping this issue and not suffering in the slightest when you pick up issue #3.