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'Swan Songs' #2 is a visually inventive take on breaking up
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Comic Books

‘Swan Songs’ #2 is a visually inventive take on breaking up

A visually stunning one-shot about a divorce.

Swan Songs #1 came out swinging with a story about death and love wrapped up in a doomsday setting. Swan Songs #2 continues the trend of writer W. Maxwell Prince’s work: It feels completely different. Joined by storyteller and artist Caspar Wiijngaard, the second issue shows the brutal battle of a married couple that has had a falling out.

We’re huge fans of Wiijngaard’s work here at AIPT – read our many Home Sick Pilots reviews to see what I mean. I can safely say this one-shot story not only met my expectations, it blew them out of the water. Not to get ahead of myself, but Wiijngaard implores multiple art styles, from his modern style utilizing pinks and light blues to a Kirby-esque classic superhero style, a manga-inspired inked style to a Medieval era style with flowery borders. There’s even a still life presented in this issue, further cementing the fact that this is a visual feast that’s downright inspiring.

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You might be wondering why there are different visual styles, and Prince sets them up relatively well. The issue opens with a mediator settling things between the soon-to-be-divorced couple. The mediator notes they will now be “locked in various styles of mortal combat for all eternity,” and away we go.

'Swang Songs' #2 review

She really wanted to turn the knife on that one.
Credit: Image

After a sweetly written opening of their first meeting, we cut to a medieval battle with both trying to kill one another. Mixing these scenes of violence are real-life moments they shared growing closer, being passionate, and otherwise being a testament to romantic love. The battles end up being a shock because they seem very happy when we cut to the violence, but eventually, we learn what turned the tide.

It seems fitting that when the violence turns to a cosmic battle out of a Jack Kirby comic, the damage has been done, and the two are ready to part. Comic book lovers will enjoy the reference, and it is a nice culmination of all their internal violence and anger coming out in a physical battle, even though they never get physically violent in real life.

What ultimately makes this a riveting reading experience, though, isn’t the relationship drama. We’ve seen it before, but it’s the structure of the story. We witness fights and, in those fights, dialogue that reveals a breaking of trust and other relationship elements, but we also see them at their best. In a single-issue comic, we see their happiest moments and darkest moments. It all culminates in a final page that ends up feeling incredibly tragic as our character thinks hopefully about a romance that’s about to start. None the wiser it will end in hurt feelings and frustrations.

If you’re a fan of relationship drama, comics, and deep feelings, you’ll love Swan Songs #2. This beautiful and tragic story comes to life in a way only comics can.

'Swan Songs' #2 is a visually inventive take on breaking up
‘Swan Songs’ #2 is a visually inventive take on breaking up
Swan Songs #2
If you're a fan of relationship drama, comics, and deep feelings, you'll love Swan Songs #2. This beautiful and tragic story comes to life in a way only comics can. 
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.9
Visually stunning with multiple art styles in play
Told in an intriguing way with the final page being a real gut punch
Original in many ways, it still treads a lot of the familiar break up tropes
9.5
Great
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