After a very surprising end to the first issue, the true nature of this series is still a mystery, but still intriguing nonetheless.
So is this second issue good?
The Mantle #2 (Image Comics)
With the misdirection of the first issue, the plot of this follow-up issue was completely up in the air. With Robbie dead yet still featured prominently on the cover of the issue, it’s difficult to pin down the direction the series is taking, but admittedly adds some appeal. Even after this issue, Brisson hasn’t declared a clear plot which some readers may enjoy, while others may find it distracting.
This issue picks up with Jen clutching at her dead boyfriend’s body while the others attempt to convince her to leave immediately for her own safety. We get another look at The Plague which is drawn very well (I love the absurd gore), as well as the other superheroes’ headquarters. We’re introduced to another team member whose character aligns with the quasi-satirical look at a superhero world which Brisson has been portraying thus far. While things do happen, nothing prominent to the mythos of the powers or any suggestive events for the future of the storyline occur.
That’s not to say it’s not an enjoyable issue. Towards the end, Necra takes Jen into the afterlife to meet with former Mantle heroes. This switch from reality to afterlife comes with a complete transition in art style which Level handles nicely. I’m really enjoying Level‘s art who has continued to produce really entertaining art and more brutally terrific action sequences. We’re getting a diverse amount of panel perspectives and some equally as talented coloring by Jordan Boyd.
While The Mantle is still open for a number of storyline directions, it’s still integrating a lot of formerly used concepts (There are a number of allusions to both Green Lantern and Swamp Thing traits from just the DC perspective alone). I do appreciate the more modern twist Brisson is attempting to create as seen in the character’s attire and topical references, though it seems as though the creative team is trying too hard to force the comedy into the comic. While this series does work better as more of a humorous take on superheroes, Brisson has to go about implementing it in different ways. Simply including terms like “O.G.” won’t cut it.
Is It Good?
The Mantle is showcasing some great art and an intriguing open storyline with no clearly predictable plot. Some comedic lines may feel a little forced, almost like when your parents attempt to use “hip, cool language” (no offense Brisson, that’s not me calling you old). This is yet another solid issue that’s convinced me to stick with the series.