In a future where robots, aliens, and even werewolves walk the streets, Helena Crash is there to kick butt and find things that are difficult to acquire. The first issue debuted a clever protagonist in a world that is visually arresting. We dive into issue #2 to see how much travel Helena can get into, and also to determine: is it good?
Helena Crash #2 (IDW Publishing)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
Helena Crash receives a message from the notorious crime lord known as WHITE DEMON. White Demon wants Helena to track down a rare, hard to find movie for her, on VHS no less. Helena begins her hunt, only to find herself in hot water for her association with White Demon’s chief rival, EL ROJO.
Why does this book matter?
A tough chick who lives in a town that’s nearly alive due to an art style that’s wicked in a graffiti sort of way? Giddyup!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The art makes the world come alive.
Once again, the 2D nature of Warwick Johnson-Cadwell’s art is incredible in a variety of ways. The world is almost alive in how nothing has a straight line, and Helena herself has a simplistic look that’s crisp and eye catching. There’s a pop to every panel and while the style might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s hard to deny how unique it can be. In a scene where Helena is looking for an old VHS, Cadwell does a good job establishing the setting with neat details throughout. Take for instance a gorilla shop owner who wears a King Kong shirt. The style is simple–only a few lines, but they come at hard angles with plenty of details around him to cue you into the character.
The story in this issue progresses things nicely too. Fabian Rangel Jr. shows us a day in the life of Helena, as she gets a job to find the VHS and of course it doesn’t go smoothly. For Helena though, it’s more of the same. Rangel Jr. uses this scene to throw in a flashback which reminds the reader she grew up with a boxer step-dad, but also to remind us she kicks butt too. This issue also loops in an old fling of Helena’s who works in a shop. He has ties to a local gang that will assuredly complicate things moving forward.
That’s one way to do it!
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the story progresses, not a whole lot happens either. Helena gets to do a job and meets up with a gang boss, but when I reached the final page I was surprised to see it was over. It’s a brisk read to say the least, which may indicate a slower burn story is afoot here. It’s probably a good sign I wanted more, but it’s hard to shake the thought that the events of this issue feel a bit skimpy.
Is It Good?
This is a good issue, especially if you love the wickedly unique art style. I can’t say a lot happens in the issue, but what it does is well done.