The first issue of High Level delivered the perfect amount of cyberpunk sci-fi goodness introducing a world of the rich vs. the poor, a loner main character named Thirteen, and a promise to stop a war via a child. The second issue picks up where we left off and things get far more action packed in the second installment.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
Tasked with smuggling the savior of humanity through thousands of miles of religious cults, mutant tribes, war zones, sunken cities, and cybernetic mafias, the woman known only as Thirteen does what any sane person would: try to get out of doing it. But the mystery of High Level calls whether Thirteen likes it or not.
Why does this matter?
This series is a great addition to DC Vertigo’s new line of comics, bringing in science fiction themes and perspective. Barnaby Bagenda’s art is excellent too, which gives the book a unique look apart from the usual superhero comic, aided by the excellent colors by Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The pace is picking up this issue as it begins to flesh out the stakes in play with the mysterious little girl. Opening with Thirteen getting the 411 on the girl, readers get insight into the girl’s sci-fi abilities as well as her personality. Sheridan does a good job making the girl believable and you’ll feel remorseful for her plight. Things start to kick up a notch once Thirteen agrees to a deal and a plan is in order.
One of the joys of this series is seeing how Sheridan and Bagenda infuse the world with unique sci-fi ideas, one of which pops up midway through involving a flock of drones. There’s a history to this phenomenon that’ll spark your imagination and open up the realities of the world.
I love how colorful this world is, which is a nice contrast to the usual dystopian future we see in comics. Add to this the hand-drawn look of the characters which gives the imagery an organic feel and it carves out a unique sci-fi world for readers. There are also nice details thrown in to help make the world seem alien and strange.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
The plot gets the job done, but it’s not entirely unique either. The story of a reluctant adult being saddled with a kid isn’t new and some of the usual twists and turns occur here. It’s still all occurring in a vividly new world though.
Is it good?
A good second issue that gets the plot moving right quick. Continues to infuse the world with original sci-fi ideas that are hard to resist.
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