Following up on last issue‘s cliffhanger ending, Gina comes face to face with the head of the mysterious Section 26, also known as MI666!
The opening sequence is easily the high point of the issue, delivering a tense chase scene that follows on from the haunting flashback from the first issue. This issue lets the reader know right away that magic isn’t all flashing lights and witty banter. Things can get real bad, real fast.
This issue also does a lot of heavy lifting in the exposition department, but it’s done in a clever way. Gina isn’t exactly the type to be a passive listener, so Cavan Scott’s script allows her to take the piss out of everyone who is standing around pontificating about the nature of their work.
One of the things I most enjoyed about last issue was that the nature of each spell doesn’t necessarily have to be spelled out for the reader. The creative team uses multiple context clues to explain just enough that the story flows well. As a result, the pacing in this issue is spectacular, which is no mean feat when it includes so much exposition up top.
The artwork from Corin Howell continues to impress, both in creature design and in the physicality of the more human characters. Facial expressions are fantastic, walking right up to the line of being cartoony, but only stepping over when some particularly insane magic calls for it. This makes many of the characters (particularly Gina) feel larger than life, but still relatable. Triona Farrell finds interesting ways of coloring each scene. One particular highlight is the green hue given to the prison that Gina finds herself in during the opening of the issue.
The lettering from Andworld Design continues to be interesting and varied, giving different tones and intentions to every little shift in the balance of power. Spoken spells look markedly different from normal speech, as do the spoken lines belonging to the less-human characters. It immediately makes certain moments stand out, giving the incantations the same importance on the page that they seem to have to the characters who are around to hear them.
Where the issue stumbles a bit is in the last third. It seems to hop around a bit, seemingly jumping over bigger moments like an escape sequence that could have been very interesting to see. Still, the groundwork is being laid for an interesting working relationship for our lead characters.
The final page also promises some wild action for next month’s issue, so this is overall a fantastic second installment for this series. It properly builds off of the promise shown in the first issue and fleshes out the characters even further. While the agents of MI666 are still little more than heavies, Gina is quickly becoming a very engrossing protagonist.