I’m a sucker for anthology series because there’s no long term commitment: get in, get out and enjoy the hell out of a story from beginning to end. I thoroughly loved the last issue of Amazing Forest save for a story, but maybe the odds are in my favor and they’re all good here? Question is: Is it good?
Amazing Forest #2 (IDW Publishing)
This issue has fewer stories than before, coming in at a total of four. They are all written by Erick Freitas and Ulises Farinas. The first story is titled ‘Detective Dunk’ and it’s drawn by Caitlin Rose Boyle. The second story, ‘Van Dark’ features art by Angelica Blevins, followed by ‘Stardust’ with art by Sean Pryor and finally ‘Agroman’ with art by Buster Moody.
Why does this book matter?
This book is 36 pages (34 if you don’t count the cover and credits page) which is a healthy amount of pages per story. There appears to be somewhat of a theme this issue too as each story focuses on a person who is miserable from their job or position. I think we can all relate to that!
A man on a mission.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
‘Detective Dunk’ is a fun story that plays with your expectations. Dunk is a bit of a screwup and doesn’t usually get his man. Meanwhile, his fellow detectives find him to be a joke. He’s determined though, and through hard work (and lots of waiting) gets close to solving the crime. The twist comes and it’s unexpected and funny. The art reminds me of something from European comics I can’t pinpoint. All in all a light but fun story as Dunk is miserably endearing.
‘Van Dark’ is basically a story about Darth Vader and how he hates his paper pushing job. Sure he’s not named Darth Vader, but he sure looks similar, works on a “Cube of Doom” (Death Star anyone?) and has an ugly demanding boss. This one is straight comedy and plays with the idea of Van Dark being so fed up he does the opposite of what he should do. Marry the enemy? Check. Switch the death ray from kill to “nice day on the beach”? Check! Angelica Blevins draws a very comically charged story with many details not in focus of the page that enhance the humor. Van Dark’s desk is covered in silly things for example, or when he powers up the death ray a moon looks on aghast.
‘Stardust’ is a story written for Watchmen fans. The names and likenesses are changed of course, but make no mistake this story is about what happens after the big twist of Watchmen. This is the first story in the issue that’s not comedic as we learn the truth about life in general. The Dr. Manhattan character, the titular Stardust, decides to leave Earth and go make his own life and makes a depressing realization. The art here by Sean Pryor uses a thick line with a Robert Crumb vibe and a nice illustrated style.
Finally, there’s ‘Agroman,’ about a Conan type character who’s king. He faces a wizard who commands an army of giraffes but he’s found himself very sick. He goes to war but we quickly learn he hides a secret that the wizard is very aware of. This story is quite funny due to Buster Moody’s art that gives everything a thickness and weight that’s fun. Eagle eyes should note funny elements in this ancient society like an exit sign and pizza box. The cliffhanger will blow you away much like it literally does Agroman.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Frankly I found every story funny and/or interesting and not a single panel was drawn poorly. Great stuff.
Is It Good?
This is a fantastic issue that proves there aren’t enough anthology comics. Take a chance on this one you won’t be disappointed. If you’re on a tight budget skip Spider-Man (or whatever you read) for just one week because this offers a lot more bang for your buck.