Review – Eve Stranger #2 (IDW Publishing)

Publisher: IDW Publishing (Black Crown imprint)
Writer: David Barnett
Artist: Philip Bond
Colours: Eva de la Cruz
Lettering: Jane Heir
Release Date: 26th June 2019

Heart pounding, with the thundering of hooves and the hot breath of stampeding bulls on your neck, you race through the streets of Pamplona, with a midget strapped to your chest. Just another day in the life of Eve Stranger. When your particular set of skills is for rent to the highest bidder, some days are more fun than others.

Eve Stranger is just so much fun! Given the premise of this story, we could have had a very dark and serious thriller, but I am incredibly glad that David Barnett took it in a different direction. With the handicap/advantage(?) of every day being a new day to Eve, and with only the notes she leaves herself to guide her, she makes the most of every experience, whether it be new or just forgotten.

This issue gives us a lighter look at Eve’s life, a day of adventure, drinking and bar fights with the mostly benign Madden. It also shows us a more poignant and sad side to Eve’s life as we realise that those who come to know and love her, especially her handler Jimmy, will never experience that love in return as she will have no memory of them the following day.

Whilst the organisation that owns Eve could never be called moral, there is a certain moral code that they adhere to, and when a prospective bidder makes an unseemly suggestion as to what he could do if he wins the services of Eve, he is swiftly and ruthlessly removed from the equation. We are no closer to finding out exactly what is wrong with Eve or what experiments her father performed on her in order to save her life, but we’re also only two issues into the series so shall have to be patient for the time being.

If you hadn’t guessed, I think David Barnett is doing a fantastic job on this series. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it never takes itself too seriously, and there’s something of Tank Girl in our heroine which I really like. There’s just the right balance between tension and irreverence. Once again I’m so close to recommending this to younger readers but there are still a few scenes that are so not age appropriate.

Philip Bond and Eva de la Cruz have done another sterling job on the artwork. The style is spot-on for Barnett’s story and narrative. There’s a certain naïve charm in the depiction of Eve and the other characters that makes their adventures seem much more fantastic and helps the action jump off the page. I particularly like the fact that Bond’s artwork manages to make Eve seem innocent and vulnerable in one panel but totally uninhibited, badass, and capable in the next.

I’m really enjoying this series, it has something for everyone and I think it’s well worth picking up.

Rating: 3/5.


The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek ‏

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