In this issue, Mulan explores her new powers as her past self comes to find her. Is it good?
Mulan: Revelations #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
When we left off last issue, Mulan and her uncle are surrounded by men after her very special blood. We pick up with her uncle hesitantly activating her powers, a mysterious pink kaboom power, which he tells her to “trust her instincts” to use.
Mulan manages to escape after a particularly large surge of her power with the help of a nearby American tourist, who flies them to safety, but leaves her uncle in the the clutches of the mysterious soldiers. Before she leaves, her powers reveal that one of the soldiers is a demon beneath his human disguise.
The demon turns out to be Longwei, but also the infected man from the last issue who wanted Mulan’s blood so badly. He is estranged from the rest of his demon clan, who are trying to tempt him back to the fold.
We also see that the animal gods from the Mulan’s past are debating whether to involve themselves. Mulan is one in a long line of humans who have wielded these powers, and that the fate of mankind is in the balance.
Is It Good?
I enjoyed the first issue of Mulan: Revelations, despite a few weaknesses in the book. While I still enjoyed issue two, it’s plagued by more of these weaknesses.
First, the dialogue is fairly wooden and gets stuck in cliches at times. I feel like the writers can’t quite decide how they want people in the future to talk. Mulan goes from extremely modern slang-filled speech, like when the soldiers deploy demon dogs against her, she thinks, “Ok, guide away. Or I’ll end up dog food!” But as she is being helped away by the American tourist, she protests, “No! My uncle! I must…!” and she repeats the “I must” towards the end of the issue. Much more formal/old-fashioned.
We also get way less evidence that this book is set in China in this issue. In issue 1, we mostly got this in the art, from posters on the walls and streets signs. This current issue could have taken place anywhere. I wish they had thrown in some Chinese in the dialogue, something more to tie us culturally into this story.
The art in this issue, even though it’s the same artist from issue one, Micah Kaneshiro, has moments when it’s much less defined, with less distinct faces, almost blurry with the thick brush strokes. It hurts the action sequences, making it more difficult to make out exactly what’s happening.
Finally, despite the major opening action sequence, it felt like the pace of this issue slowed dramatically. We didn’t really learn any new information about this world, and the story only moved along incrementally.
Now this sounds like a lot of negatives, but don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed this issue. Seeing Mulan’s powers in action was badass, and overall the art is still gorgeous, with great use of color. I’m just have some concerns; a book with such a cool and interesting concept is in danger of going in a very standard direction with the story.