Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Emma Vieceli
Artwork: Claudia Leonardi
Colours: Andrea Izzo
Lettering: Richard Starkings, Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt
Release Date: 20th November 2019
[WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR LIFE IS STRANGE VOL 1: DUST]
At the end of the first volume of Titan’s Life is Strange comic book series, Max was forced to make an impossible decision. With her uncontrollable ‘flickers’ becoming more and more erratic, and the fabric of time threatening to tear itself apart, she made the drastic choice to pull all the fractured parts of herself together, leaping into the maelstrom of timelines and seeking out the strongest one – the one least impacted by her abilities – as her new home.
With a cliff-hanger that saw her showing up in Santa Monica in a timeline where both Chloe and Rachel were still alive, this second volume jumps us two years into the future as we see Max doing her best to fit into this new reality. However, she is clearly struggling to deal with having to bury her unrequited feelings about Chloe, not to mention the nagging feeling that everything she has sacrificed has been for nothing. Oh, and when she becomes aware of a strange boy that only she appears to be able to see, it’s clear that there’s a lot going on here than meets the eye, and that her troubles may only just be beginning.
As with the first volume, series writer Emma Vieceli perfectly captures the distinctive voices of both Max and Chloe. It’s also interesting to get a little more first-hand experience of the relationship between Chloe and Rachel, not to mention the effect their interactions have on Max, who is unable to share her true feelings and or the shared experiences and trauma with her closest friend. It’s all entertaining enough character-based drama from start to finish, although it perhaps lacks some of the urgency of the first volume where the stakes felt particularly high.
New addition Tristan is interesting enough, although his personality does seem to flip-flop quite a bit throughout the course of the volume, making him difficult to get a read on and, as a result, tricky to develop much of an investment in.
One thing I did notice is that the artwork here is slightly rougher in places than it was during the first volume. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part Claudia Leonardi’s art is of its usual high standard here, but there are a few occasions where certain panels look a little rushed. Thankfully, these moments are relatively few and far between, and while there’s definitely nothing here on the same level of Max’s dive into the maelstrom or the recurring butterfly motif from volume one, this is still a solid enough visual package, with colourist Andrea Izzo more than pulling her weight in that regard.
Overall then, while it doesn’t quite have the same strong character arc of the first volume, “Waves” does a great job of expanding this particular branch of the Life is Strange story, and sets up some interesting situations as we head into volume three. Well worth a look for readers who enjoyed volume one, or fans of the video game in general.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]