Liam Sharp and Christina McCormack transition from the character development of Charlie Chance to create quite a bit of world building in their second installment of Cap Stone. Is it good?
Cap Stone #2 (Titan Comics)
The story picks up exactly where the first issue left off; Charlie has received an anonymous phone call revealing some groundbreaking information about the missing title character. However, Christina McCormack and Liam Sharp decide to regale us with the story of Ada, mother of Cap Stone. It is not all that interesting and at this point in the story appears to be pure page filler. Although, they do introduce a character, Jim Clayton, a media mogul and step-father to Cap Stone who may play an important role further on in the series. He only appears on three pages in the entire book and has two lines of dialogue but they stand out mainly because they are extremely confusing. In the first line he is bold and offering a proposition, so you figure the second line will be the proposition right? Nope. In the second line he blusters about how nobody tells him what to do. To make matters worse he refers to himself in the third person!
About halfway through, Sharp and McCormack transition from Ada’s long-winded recalling of her past to return to Charlie’s past and explore why she has secluded herself from civilization and the animalistic traits she has shown off. The transition stretches one’s belief as Charlie delves into herself while still remaining on the phone. Her story is engaging and to the point; it does not feel as protracted as Ada’s story. It shows her passion while also providing some political context to the world. However, I am a tad disappointed as to how Sharp and McCormack explain her nature, or at least what they lead you to believe is the cause of her nature.
One of the positives to this issue is the reader finally gets some information on Cap Stone: who exactly he is, what he has done, and some possibilities of what has happened to him. There is one continuity hiccup regarding the information on Cap Stone’s father, however. The newscaster calls him Peter Clayton where Ada called him Jim or James Clayton. Not sure if they are the same person or the editor forgot to catch it. Another positive is Sharp’s artwork. He continues to constantly provide different visuals throughout the book. Charlie’s glimpse into her past looks completely different than Ada’s recollection of her past and, though there is only one page, he provides a gorgeous rendition of the moon overlooking a patch of trees with light swirling down from the sky. This page stands out as it is complemented by Charlie’s flow of thoughts and reveals how her mind is churning.
Following the main story, Sharp and McCormack include a short entitled “The Tyranny of the Ant Women.” The artistic style is reminiscent of 1960s comics and the story has the same vibe with the hero fighting to save the planet, however, there is a nice twist with his sidekick taking on a Jiminy Cricket role. There is an odd transition in the middle of the short when it appears the enemy has been defeated only to see on the next page our hero blasting his way through more insect creatures.
Is It Good?
Cap Stone #2 struggled in capturing my attention for the first half of the issue. The phone conversation with Ada seemed all too pointless and could have been over in just one page explaining the connection between Charlie and Cap Stone. There was a continuity mistake and Jim Clayton’s dialogue was headache-inducing even at only two lines! However, the second half of the book was quite engaging, delving more into Charlie’s character as well as touching the surface on Cap Stone and the world the two inhabit. Sharp’s artwork continued to be compelling providing a fresh style on almost every page.