What if a superhero with the same power set as Superman showed up and said you were taking over his role? Would you freak out, or get excited? Now what if this same superhero appeared in comics decades ago? Weird. The first issue was a decent read, but how is this issue? Is it good?
Imperial #2 (Image Comics)
I wasn’t impressed with the humor in the first issue and that’s a statement assuming this is supposed to be a funny book. The truth is I’m not so sure how funny it’s trying to be. It’s balancing drama and humor that is for sure, and while it’s not laugh out loud hilarious, it has its moments. This issue opens where the last issue left off, more or less, with our protagonist Mark being attacked by a meteorite-throwing bad guy. I say more or less, because this issue actually opens with Imperial pressing his knee into the Mark’s balls.
Mark’s admissions of stupidity are pretty great.
Writer Steven T. Seagle has gone past the setup for the most part which allows him to play around with the themes introduced last issue. The two main themes are Imperial not understanding how bad Mark is as a choice to succeed him and Mark’s fear of marrying his fiance. It seems Mark’s average nature is rubbing off on Imperial, which gives us one of the cuter scenes in the series so far when Mark shows Imperial how s’mores are better than seeing the rings of Saturn in person.
There isn’t a ton of play when it comes to expectations, aside from the verbosity of the villain, and the story is wide open for anything to happen. We get more info on how Imperial works and why Mark was chosen, although it still seems like a simple mix-up could be the reason at this point.
Probably the strongest moment in this issue is between Mark and his fiance. She wants to get it on, but Mark is afraid someone, i.e. Imperial, will be looking through the window. She gets upset and cries, accusing Mark of not being attracted to her anymore. This moment feels very genuine and gives the characters that much more of a grounded feel.
The art by Marc Dos Santos continues to deliver a cartoony look to the proceedings. It helps the material keep its comedic edge, which is frankly needed considering it’s not laugh out loud funny most of the time. The style is very simple, with basic backgrounds and not a heck of a lot of detail save for facial expressions.
‘Maw’ is a weird word to be using in conversation.
Is It Good?
This comic reads like a very middling sitcom as the humor is there, it’s just not very gut busting, so don’t expect a TV version on NBC anytime soon. That said, the story is strong and compelling, so throw this on Showtime and we might have a show on its hands.