Review – Red One #2 (Image Comics)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Xavier Dorison
Artist: Rachel and Terry Dodson
Released: 29th April 2015 

There’s something to be said about quite how bold Red One is being. Not least in terms of the interesting narrative that’s throwing a superhero-type curveball our well – Soviet-funded super-heroism never looked so good – but also in terms of physical structure of the series.

I failed to point out in my review of issue #1 that these are massive comics – about the twice the size of your run-of-the-mill Image Comic, and thanks to the Dodsons’ intricately panelled story-work, there’s also a much larger story-per-page ratio than you might ordinarily get. Issue 2 retains the intricate story-work, but it’s a touch slighter, clocking in at 26 pages of still rather terrific story.

Unusual as it may be to review the physical and release format of the book, it’s highly relevant, seeing as this is all we’re getting this year. The team specifically address what might be considered a short-changing.

Do I like the idea? It’s hard to say – on the one hand, we’re more than used to waiting a year between TV seasons, and more than that between movie iterations, and as an experiment, it’s interesting to consider a comic series in the same light. On the other, this is really very good, and it ends on an absolute doozy of a cliffhanger, so waiting a whole dang year to find out how it resolves is going to be torture. So…y’know, standard yearly-iterating media complaints. Go figure.#

As said, the art remains incredible, and this issue in particular sees the Dodsons flex their action muscles – with Vera, in her guise as Red One, kicking ten shades shades of black and blue out of The Carpenter’s goons. Particularly joyous is a fight that goes down in a bathroom, through six skinny panels that shift subtly as Vera cracks wrists, faces and knees in a controlled human pile-up.

If these two issues comprise volume one of Red One, then volume one has been something of a success. A great idea, magnificent art and slick storytelling all combine to an arresting first crack at the whip. The change in format and release schedule are a little frustrating, and it’s not quite up there at being 100% essential, but as ever with Image’s output, this is certainly worth your time and cash.

Rating: 4/5.


The Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24

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