The Raid #2 falls short after a strong premiere issue.
Last month Titan released the first issue of their comic book adaptation of the hit Indonesian film The Raid. Being a fan of the films, I had to get my hands on it and check it out, and I liked the first issue. The story takes place during the events of The Raid 2. Rama, the hero from the first movie, is undercover in prison to get close to Uco, the son of a major crime lord. While in prison, another officer named Teja, who has been convicted of a crime, notices him. Rama makes it clear that he doesn’t know who he is, when he really does, but later has no choice but to come to his aid as the criminals that Teja help put away closes in on him.
What’s the book about?
Following up from the first issue, Rama has now agreed to help protect Teja while they are incarnated — if he pays him. Meanwhile, Hammer Girl and her brother, the Baseball Bat Man (yeah, that’s his name), pay a visit to a gentleman who surely didn’t want to see them at his door. And Bejo has conflicts of his own with his new restaurant.
As much as I don’t want to say it, there isn’t a lot that I liked about The Raid #2. This was a surprise for me as I liked the first issue so much. The only thing that I really liked about this issue is the artwork — Budi Setiawan and Brad Simpson got me through this issue. Setiawan continues to illustrate the action pieces in fine form, while Simpson’s colors and use of shadows add much-needed depth to the story.
This issue just feels like a bunch of meaningless filler. I like Ollie Masters — he is a solid writer, but at this point, I am questioning whether Titan should have released a comic book series based on The Raid films at all. Too late? Maybe. Is there not enough substance to work in between the story that is already there? It’s beginning to feel like it. The third issue really has to pick up for me to get back on The Raid train.
The ugly here is the use of Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man. At this point, I would be fine if these two bad ass characters had names to go with their intimidating look. They weren’t necessary in this issue either — they attack an unknown character and go back home to watch TV on the couch. Takes a bit of the mystique away from them. And speaking of characters, the first issue had a nice first page, listing the characters and who they are. That’s missing from this issue (or at least in the review copy that I have. Perhaps it made it to print). For new readers who may have missed the first issue, I think it would still be a nice addition.
I was psyched when the first issue came out. I had my reservations about the story being involved with the events of The Raid 2, but it worked. This issue however feels lost and looking for a direction to go in. The only clear path appears to be with Teja and Rama, but eventually something will have to give since Teja is a made-up character solely for this series. Hopefully, things will take a turn for the better in the third issue.