Yara Flor continues her odyssey to the realm of the dead. But what has transpired that has brought her to this point, and will she be the same person when she reaches the end of her quest?
I greatly enjoyed the first half of this story, which set up several interesting threads but was mostly concerned with introducing readers to the charming character of Yara Flor. This issue takes a bit of a different tactic from the previous issue, focusing a bit more on the character’s background and motivations. The result is an issue that feels like it has to do a lot of heavy lifting, and it doesn’t feel quite as breezy and enjoyable as the first.
There is still a lot to love in this second issue, however. Yara is a fascinating character, full of hope and fury all at once. She also consistently finds fun and interesting solutions to each problem. One of the highlights of the book is the slightly slapstick method she uses to escape Cerberus.
Joelle Jones sprinkles some great set pieces throughout this second issue. Aside from the aforementioned run-in with Cerberus, the encounter with Hades is a haunting visual. Piercing red eyes burn from the center of a void in the vague shape of a human. The scenes in the pit of souls are where Jordie Bellaire’s colors truly shine. The glowing beauty of Persephone cuts through the gloom, as do the bright shades of Yara’s costume.
Given the wild popularity of the game, the comparisons to Supergiant Games’ Hades are unavoidable, but the aesthetic of this issue reminds me very much of what I like about that game. The light humor and bright color palette help to balance out the dire circumstances of Yara Flor’s journey, taking the sting out of some of the darker moments.
There are also some really fun storytelling beats in the artwork and page layouts. At one point, multiple panels break up the action to pull in on Potira’s face, showing the reader what Wonder Woman remembers the most about that fateful battle. This is done in such a dynamic way that the multiple panels sprinkled throughout do not distract from the visceral nature of the battle.
However, a good portion of this issue feels a little bit rushed. The ending particularly comes off as a bit too easy. Not for the characters themselves, mind you, but from a storytelling perspective. Without getting into spoilers, parts of the resolution feel just the tiniest bit too convenient. It leads me to hope that the fallout of this battle will be explored in future Yara Flor stories. It also makes me wish that we had just one more issue to give this story some more breathing room.
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