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'A Vicious Circle' #2 is an excellent blend of action and answers

Comic Books

‘A Vicious Circle’ #2 is an excellent blend of action and answers

Issue #2 fully utilizes its time travel premise.

Time travel, action, and incredible art combine in A Vicious Circle from Lee Bermejo and Mattson Tomlin in what has to be one of the coolest new time travel stories to come out of comics in some time. The second issue is out this week, which promises more time jumps and, more importantly, some real answers about what is happening. It’s a great second issue free from the confines of an opening salvo.

A Vicious Circle #2 opens where we left off, as Shawn tries to stay alive in a very unfriendly time and place. It’s the past when humanity aren’t yet in the picture, but dinosaurs sure are. Through his captions, we get a keen sense of where he is mentally and how screwed he likely is without a person to kill to change the timeline.

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That’s just one detail we learn about how time travel works, but we get plenty of answers in a key flash-forward (or is it a flashback?) to the future. Tomlin does a good job establishing Shawn’s role as a kind of Batman type, right down to some cool gadgetry designed by Bermejo. The scenes in the far future are also rendered in a more conventional comic book style, which juxtaposes well against the painterly opening scenes as Shawn fights a dinosaur.

A Vicious Circle #2

Great opening page.
Credit: BOOM!

This issue has multiple time jumps, with a vivid difference in color tones and detailed style. I won’t spoil what timelines they jump to, but it’s interesting to see how more silver tones are used in one and more ominous red hues in another. Bermejo is backed up by Grant Goleash on pages 14-21, giving the book a different feel as needed.

This issue does a masterful job of juggling different dilemmas for Shawn to work through. Is he stuck in the far past, never to return to his future? Should he actively change history or abstain from it? If things turn out better, why mess with the timeline further? Along the way, he interacts with his target, who is drawn in a way that dictates he’s the villain, but by the end of the issue, you may not be so sure. The drama is solid throughout, with conflicts to resolve and hard choices to be made.

I’ve danced around the art, but it’s stellar throughout. The black and white painterly scenes are gorgeous and just as vivid and incredible as they are in full color. The explosive moments of change, be it an assassination full-page splash or when Shawn and his enemy propel themselves through time, are epic. The visuals can maintain a real-world drama or ramp up to blockbuster-level awesomeness. It’s also impressive to see Bermjo play around with form and style, and I’d wager some folks will assume multiple artists were working on this book.

The lettering is also exceptional, with an artistic panache depending on the scene or location. It’s particularly great when there are no word balloons at all, and it’s cool to see the style change as needed when Bermejo changes things up too.

A Vicious Circle #2 doesn’t disappoint with a great action frenzy of a second issue. This issue also doesn’t hold back with answers and a fulfilling sense of the heroism of our main character and the hard choices he must make. This series sets a high bar for time travel stories with its pulse-pounding action and incredible art.

'A Vicious Circle' #2 is an excellent blend of action and answers
‘A Vicious Circle’ #2 is an excellent blend of action and answers
A Vicious Circle #2
A Vicious Circle #2 doesn't disappoint with a great action frenzy of a second issue. This issue also doesn't hold back with answers and a fulfilling sense of the heroism of our main character and the hard choices he must make. This series sets a high bar for time travel stories with its pulse-pounding action and incredible art. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.9
Vivid art changes to stylized in intriguing ways
Lots of answers for readers to dig into on what is going on
Villain is a mystery who only pops up here or there
9.5
Great
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