By Brian Wood, Mack Chater, Lee Loughridge, Nate Piekos, Tula Lotay
Wood continues to build the world of his latest comic series, while the world itself is slowing transitioning away from the violent Patriarchy it was built as.
If this issue is any indication, this is going to be more of a slowburn series. I do believe that Wood’s The Massive balanced more action and drama, while this series leans more heavily on the latter. Which is refreshing in its own way, provided Wood can keep the characters growth and interactions compelling. Much of this issue is Grace establishing what kind of leader she will be instead of recreating her husband’s tactics. Her son can’t understand why she takes a special interest in a neglected housewife, which we as the readers can follow because we know that could easily have been her. Indeed, she may have been in that housewife’s “shoes” until her ex-husband was sent to jail. As I said, its not the most action-packed of stories but compelling by itself.
Chater and Loughridge seem to take a more abstract approach to the art in this issue, which isn’t a criticism. A series like this isn’t really one that needs improvement, so if it takes a less realistic approach it can only help readers feel more immersed in the story that hinges so much on dialogue and intrigue. I particularly like the housewife scenes near the end, with the cloudy skies and squalor that Briggsland residents put up with to live free of Government “tyranny”. Chater is really skilled at depicting the characters as real people, with their expressions and mannerisms.
A solid second issue, Grace’s conflict with her sons doesn’t feel completely dire although I’m sure Wood intends to build that up. So far her main concern is who tried to kill her in the last issue, and it’ll be interesting to see how she tries to resolve that. The FBI agents hint that she has a much darker past than was first thought, but she keeps claiming to want to live more peacefully than her ex-husband when he ran things. It’ll also be interesting to see if her sons follow her lead like they promised or end up going their own way. Still a series with a direction and I’m sure its right up Brian Wood readers alley.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent
Disclosure: Publisher Dark Horse provided a review copy of this comic to Nothing But Comics without any payment between the site and publisher or agreement on the review’s content.