Have you ever looked at a work of art and put yourself into the scene or imagined a world that looked like that? Who hasn’t looked at Starry Night and thought “what if the world was like that?” Well Vertigo is taking that concept and making it into an art come alive super team of sorts. That’s exciting. But is it good?
Art Ops #2 (DC Comics)
Last issue Reggie had his arm ripped off and what looked like paint flowed out of him. The man was made of paint! We quickly learned there’s an “Art Ops” team of sorts and a whole new world to explore. While he tries to keep his surrealist painting that doubles as his arm hidden he’s also trying to keep the Mona Lisa out of harm’s way. Wild right?
Why does this book matter?
Mike Allred is one of those polarizing artists that is so shockingly different from the rest you can’t help but notice him. I’m sure there are those who dislike his cel-shaded look, but it pops so nice. That in effect makes it the perfect art for a work like this.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Shaun Simon writes a solid issue here as we get to know the protagonist a bit more and what the Art Ops are. Truly the fun of the issue is discovery — starting with seeing Mona Lisa deal with her notoriety even though she needs to remain in hiding. You can tell she’s one quick jog from running in front of a camera and grabbing the attention she’s used to. It’s fun to see how Simon gives Mona Lisa a young personality that would simply go gaga over the new age of social media.
Meanwhile The Body is recruiting more characters to join him in the fight to protect society and art itself. He has a cool look that reminds me of early science fiction and the reveal as to where he’s from is a lot of fun. He’s used to introduce a new character too who was created out of the 80’s music video explosion. This adds a new layer of history to the series that really makes an impact.
The villain continues to be interesting too. Her purpose is villainous and you can tell she’s broken and angry for good reasons. Those reasons aren’t revealed yet, but it’ll be fun to see the Art Ops take her on.
It goes without saying Mike Allred and Matt Brundage’s art is eye-poppingly good. You can tell they’re having a lot of fun and we benefit from that. Mona Lisa looks great too and they’ve managed to capture the awkwardness of her face while wrapping her in modern clothes. Overall it’s a lot of fun.
It can’t be perfect can it?
For a comic about art the color is quite muted. A lot of this book is quite dark, especially scenes with The Body who himself is quite dark. It might be a stylistic choice, but overall the color doesn’t pop quite as much as it probably should.
The story does meander a bit too and at times this feels like it’s spending more time setting things up than big action that many people expect from comics.
A slurry of color here.
Is It Good?
Another solid issue here that is making it difficult to avoid this series. This issue proves this might be the coolest superhero team in comics.
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