To begin issue #2 we are greeted with a short recap of the story so far, to keep from needing to rehash the story and waste pages on reminding us of what we saw last issue. I love this page: it’s quick, it’s easy, and we’re all caught up in those first, few sentences.
Now let’s get into the actual meat of issue #2. Starting off by giving the readers a little bit more depth into the character of Aiden, he attends alcohol anonymous meetings and promptly tells everyone that he drank last night and enjoyed every drop. Kind of a mean move in general, yet it fits with what we’ve seen of the anti-hero detective so far. We’re then given another brief showing of the mysterious killer as they strike again, followed by Aiden attempting to connect the clues of the first victim. This investigation is interrupted by a single page of the chief and Alicia doing some sexual activities in a broom closet. I don’t understand the point of this panel, it feels like a page filler and has no reason to exist. It doesn’t add anything to the story but the ’employee banging the boss’ trope. As you can probably tell, I don’t like the inclusion of this panel, it’s pointless.
We finally return to a cool investigation scene where we see Aiden’s detective goggles in use. it’s interesting to look at artistically, as the colours pop from the panels. We also get a greater insight into the genius of Aiden’s team members who, as we know from the first issue, are now constantly with him. Just when we think Aiden’s character can be nothing but shallow and full of tropes, the next few pages prove us wrong. Aiden is very much like everyone else, vulnerable and pushing everyone he cares about away for reasons currently unknown to us. This adds a lot of needed depth to the character, the foundation for which was laid in issue #1 and I’m glad to see that the writers built upon it. Despite there being so many lone-wolf trope characters out there, very few comics show their vulnerabilities so openly and I commend the writing for doing so. As he finally confronts his first suspect, and thoroughly interrogates him, the comic ends with Aiden collapsing for reasons unknown, leaving the reader to question if he is going to be able to solve this case alone, or if he’s even well enough to do so.
Though at certain points the writing is filled with tropes, some odd descriptions, and some pages that add nothing to the story, the writing is overall still good. It knows where it’s going and it’s laid the foundation for getting there at every stage. Aiden, as a character, comes across as a walking trope, although this issue does well to subvert expectation, showing he isn’t as strong as he acts and doesn’t want to be alone. I enjoy a good level of character development in stories. Aiden started off as a generic hard-ass and writer, Mark London, is showing that he can do more with that character archetype. There’s a solid “whodunit” mystery being crafted here, with some interesting hints of otherworldly dealings; it’s shaping up to be an interesting mystery comic and I’m excited to see what comes next.
The art by Alejandro Giraldo, as usual, is fantastic. The style is so unique and different, and every page is resplendent. The art will have readers pouring over every panel, looking for small details on the characters or background that add to the story. Nothing more can be truly said about such an art style; it is simply amazing.