Proxima Centauri #2 is out this week from Image and it explores Sherwood Presley Breadcoat’s past and his connections with the other characters trapped on the sphere alongside him.
Shot down at the end of the last issue by a strange attacker, Sherwood finds himself vulnerable with his powers fading and his amulet Smiley not working. Sherwood was sent out by the Scientist to collect parts for the robot that he is building and now all alone he must face this attacker using a game involving touching his forefinger to his thumb and making the other person look at it. This trick seems to work against his attacker, at least long enough for Sherwood to slice him in half with his sword. Suddenly this stranger is in a room hooked up to what seems to be a virtual reality machine that has been temporarily disabled by Sherwood’s attack. The young wizard seems to have won the battle this time but the attacker vows to kill him the next time that they meet. Sherwood is now stuck and wounded from the attack without the ability of his amulet to heal him. He escapes inside of his head recollecting on his past and how he met Shaky the Wizard and M. Parasol, the girl ghost he has fallen in love with. We are also introduced to a new character named Almendra who is a wizard like Sherwood and has a menagerie of spirit animals that accompany her.
While Sherwood is lost in his head his brother Orson, who he has been desperately searching for, is on the other side of Proxima Centauri in a class full of pilots called Rocketauries. It seems Orson has become a great pilot but is also a bit of a prankster as well, using the same finger circle joke that his brother used against his attacker. The Rockertauries seem to be gearing up for a big mission yet to be disclosed.
Back on the other side of Proxima Centauri Shakey the Wizard shows up and transports Sherwood back to the Scientist’s ship but without the parts that he was sent originally to find. This issue ends with the Scientist asking Sherwood for assistance with something and our young hero expressing a deep sense of irrelevance and a need to feel like he is the only one capable of helping the Scientist with this particular task.
Farel Dalrymple takes things to a deeper emotional and philosophical level with this issue. He also gives us a bit of backstory to some of the other characters on board the ship and how they met Sherwood for the first time. Dalrymple continues to speak in metaphor and abstracts and really lets the visual do a lot of speaking for the story and the characters in it. There is a common theme of Sherwood feeling irrelevant throughout this issue. Left alone without his friends, wounded with his powers failing him, and not being able to complete the mission he was sent to complete throws Sherwood into an intense emotional state. It makes him reflect on the people around him and their need or lack thereof for him in their lives as he sees it. This is such a unique and masterful way to tell a story through emotions and the visual. He relies less on dialogue, while still giving the reader enough bits and pieces to point them in a specific direction, while also letting them take the journey along whatever path they choose to reach that destination.
The artwork and visuals in this issue continue to be whimsical, captivating, and sometimes unsettlingly abstract. This unique style and seamless blending of story and art from a singular visionary creator is not only refreshing but it is exciting and allows the reader to interpret and feel the emotions of the story for themselves. The first issue thrust us into this oddly fantastic world of Sherwood Presley Breadcoat and this wonderful cast of characters as he searches for his brother Orson. This second issue delves even deeper into Sherwood’s psyche and his insecurities on an emotional level, leaving the reader with more questions than answers but also excited to see what happens next. This series continues to push the envelope and break all the rules of traditional contemporary storytelling through comic books. I highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for something unique, fresh, and fun to explore.