The first issue of Mirka Andolfo’s Unnatural was surprising on many different levels. Released by Image Comics, the book looked to be nothing more than simple erotica with anthropomorphic characters. While it is sexually charged, the story is much deeper and darker than a cursory glance would lead one to believe. Mirka Andolfo had set the wheels in motion for an engaging story.
Unnatural # 2 immediately sets itself apart from its colorful debut. The issue was filled with bright colors that would leap off the pages. The second issue may be just as vivid (the main character Leslie does have naturally blue hair) but this time the panels have a more muted look. A flashback scene involving Leslie lacks almost any color at all. It seems that Andolfo’s coloring is based on Leslie’s emotions. After the news she received at the end of the last issue, it would only make sense that her world would seem a little less cheery and her memory is devastating, explaining the absence of all color.
The best use of the duller coloring is seen when Leslie goes to meet her blind date. The Real Love building is beautiful and palatial. Leslie is awed by the grandeur, however the panels still have a less vibrant look to them. Leslie is frightened and was practically forced by her best friend and roommate Trish to go on the date. The subtlety here is fantastic as scenes that could be colored brightly to show off the opulence are instead subdued to highlight Leslie’s feelings.
Many mysteries are further developed during the story. Though they are a source of laughter for her friends and embarrassment for Leslie, the questionable dreams she has been having about a white wolf seem to have a deeper meaning than lust. The peculiar hooded figure from issue one’s motivations for following Leslie around seem to be a little more sinister than initially thought.The strength of Trish’s commitment to her blue haired friend is firmly established in the issue. Unnatural #1 already showed that Trish and Leslie were roommates and touched on their friendship. This chapter shows that Trish will not just be there to buy sushi and lecture Leslie, but she will be a shoulder to cry on. Trish is also shows herself to be very defensive of her friend and will go out of her way to decipher the dreams that are troubling her.
Unlike the premier issue, the dystopian world created by Andolfo is presented a little less delicately. Though there were mentions of government sponsored marriages and “unnatural” relationships, the first issue showed the ugliness of Leslie’s world subtly. The second issue starts with a court case that ends in police beating down protesters. Sex scenes are also more lewd as last issue almost leaned towards being romantic while this issue is not afraid to use more colorful language. Much like the coloring, the writing may be mirroring Leslie’s emotional state.
Unnatural continues to be a fantastic journey that is unafraid to make strong comments about today’s society. Mirka Andolfo’s art is beautiful and cleverly showcases emotion while the story is an engrossing one.
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