Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Iolanda Zanfardino
Artwork: Elisa Romboli
Release Date: 8th December 2021
Ahead of its release next week, I’m excited to be able to take an early look at the second issue of A Thing Called Truth, Iolanda Zanfardino and Elisa Romboli’s latest creative offering. The first chapter introduced us to workaholic scientist Magdalene “Mag” Traumer, whose potentially world-altering scientific breakthrough was cruelly ripped from her clutches by her employer, leaving her to find solace in the alcoholic offerings of a local drinking establishment.
The second issue fills in some of the blanks from the first, delivering some much-needed backstory about Dorian Wildfang, the (brilliantly named) stranger who Mag awoke from her night of drunken debauchery to find driving her across Europe. Dorian’s story is a tragic one, and both creators do a job of delivering her past trauma and newfound “to hell with it” attitude in a genuinely impactful way. There’s something innately likeable about her confidence and self-assuredness, although it’s clear that there’s more than a tinge of sadness to everything she does.
The contrast between our two leads is laid out nicely, both visually and narratively, with the outgoing and driven Dorian clashing with the repressed, work-focused Mag. For me, one of the main strengths of Zanfardino and Romboli as a creative team is the way they can build chemistry between characters, and while there isn’t much in the way of romance going on her (not yet, anyway?), there’s definitely a spark between them that makes me want to see what happens when they hit the road.
As usual, Romboli throws in some nice visual flourishes along the way here. I particularly enjoyed Mag’s internal evaluation of how to deal with the unexpected nature of her situation, breaking it down like a scientific problem, as well as the beautiful use of colour in the aforementioned flashback sequence featuring Dorian and her brother Faust. The blend of detail and expression continues to remind me of the Eisner-nominated Joëlle Jones, a personal favourite of mine, and it’s great to see Elisa injecting more dynamic colour into her work in this series.
The final pages establish the direction of the story moving forwards, and with two likeable leads, two supremely talented creators and a lot of open road ahead of us, I’m well and truly hooked on this series.