The second issue of Arcadia hits shelves this week and is expected to make waves. (Get it? Because last issue ended with a sand shark? Too abstract? Understandable). The president is imposing some restrictions to the digital realm and now with the “resolution now” movement and the threatening code created at the end of last issue, Arcadia looks like anything, but a haven. So is this second issue good?
Arcadia #2 (BOOM! Studios)
As a foreword, I would just like to say that Matt Taylor is killing it with these covers. The covers alone make it worth a physical copy of the issues. In this issue the story progresses upon the previously developed plot as well as introducing new facets of Arcadia. Paknadel is really showing his innovation and creative ability with the depth he put into the concept of this digital world. Because this idea has been utilized before it certainly requires a few twists to keep it original and that’s exactly what the creative team has done thus far.
This week we do get an explanation for last issue and are introduced to someone who identifies as a Homesteader or someone who can create code within Arcadian and bring things to “life.” There are a lot of intriguing plot lines at work which has expanded from the seemingly succinct storyline in the debut issue. Some other concepts that arise in this issue are the discovery of a dead body within Arcadia a supposedly impossible event, and the setup for Lee to work directly against…well, Lee. This pitting of a man versus his independent digital consciousness is definitely a fun idea and should be interesting to see unfold.
The writing has impressed, the characters feel authentic and there’s a lot of emotional in play, especially between the different relationships of the Lee family. There’s even a bit of comedy in there which is a nice addition by Paknadel to offset the dark nature of the series. There are a number of little twists within this issue that should have your full attention every page. I would say this issue even rivals the first when it comes to making an bigger impression on the reader, but the visuals are a little off-putting. The art has me on edge, it isn’t my favorite. The scenery and environment is great, but the faces not so much. I guess I’m just not the biggest fan of Pfeiffer’s work, the characters all look too jowly to me.
My only concern for the storyline is that with the plot fanning out the way it is, it’s more difficult to dedicate enough issue space to each individual plot line. All these various concepts may come to be too overwhelming and may need to become more succinct in its story-telling. However as of right now Arcadia is looking to be a very enjoyable read.
Is It Good?
Arcadia is 2/2 for successful issues. >Arcadia #2 compounds on the first issue’s hook with a solid and unique storyline that provides plenty of intrigue. The art isn’t my favorite, but it does enough to make the series one of my current top five.