In the first issue of the series we were introduced to Joshua as he crash landed into a place called the Meld. In this follow up issue, we learn what exactly this realm is, the dichotomy between its inhabitants, and what kind of actions have been set in motion surrounding the Meld within the past, present, and future. Can this series follow up its impressive debut? Is it good?
Ei8ght #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
In this issue the color scheme really becomes a factor because the plot has expanded into a three-prong story, covering all the states of time. While the series definitely has a mysterious aspect to it, Albuquerque and Johnson are able to make a succinct and inviting storyline that keeps you enthralled throughout the entire issue. Issue two continues to develop this unique science fiction-fantasy world as the magnitude and depth of the storyline steadily grows. So what exactly occurs this week?
The issue begins with a scene from the present where a plane full of hired guns led by a doctor of science flies head on into a storm within the Bermuda Triangle. The reluctance of the crew is met with the crazed determination of the doctor and the plane is struck by lightning and sent hurdling into…(Green = Past)… some Mesozoic era, much to the dismay of the doctor. Later in the issue, the doctor reveals that his true goal of the expedition was to land in the, wait for it, Meld.
The next storyline, the majority of the issue, chronicles the Meld and how the inhabitants react to Joshua’s presence. We gain more information on Nila (The woman who put an arrow through his leg) and Hari (Nila’s younger brother who befriends Joshua). They inform him of the relationship between their rebel encampment and the capital, dictated by The Tyrant and The Spear (The tyrant’s right hand man that we saw on the last page of the first issue). We also get a glimpse of the capital itself and a conversation between the two evil leaders. The Tyrant, who now has possession of Joshua’s ship, expresses interest in finding the pilot of the craft to assist him in his process of controlling, and I quote, “all of time and space.” (Now how’s that for villainous intent?)
The third and final piece of the story only takes one page which is in the form of Joshua’s dream/memory. It takes place in the future (Joshua’s general present, but past. Just stay with me folks) and it shows the chrononaut with his wife who is in a comatose state in the hospital. This appears to be the catalyst for his mission as his intent is to save his wife.
The writing is just as good as last time, which reflects genuine conversation and conveys information to the reader without assuming obvious explanatory lectures. The text finds a balance between wordy and vacant and allows for Albuquerque to showcase his artistic talent. Warning: This is the point in the review where I rave about Rafael’s art. I can’t get enough of this comic’s visuals that make this fantastical world so real. Each character’s appearance is so unique and consistent throughout the issue and the wardrobe is incredibly detailed. Albuquerque gives the rebel characters a rugged exotic look, like a classier version of Mad Max costume design. The Tyrant is a stunning visual piece with a regal and almost clerical appearance, adorned with an intricate headpiece. The character looks certifiably evil and is sure to make for great villain.
Is It Good?
Ei8ht continues to set itself apart and stake a claim as one of the year’s most original series thus far. Albuquerque and Johnson put out another excellent issue to the new series that demands to be at the top of every comic fan’s pull list. If you aren’t on the bandwagon yet, now’s the time to jump on.
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