In Review: Chastity #2

Once Chastity goes into action you won't forget her.

The covers: A huge fourteen covers to collect for the second action packed issue in this series, and all are based on just three covers. The A cover by Catherine Nodet shows Chastity from the waist up turned slightly to the left. He head is a little low as she holds a katana up with both hands. Twin red ribbons flail to the left from the hilt. She’s being hit by a spotlight that contains her shadow and those of several bats in the upper right. Very nice. The B is a humorous cover by Ale Garza. Sitting on the neck of a dead troll, whose head dominates the bottom third of the illustration, Chastity looks powerful with her hands on her knees staring at the reader. A sword is just above the center of the creature’s eyes. She is colored boldly and the monster is a dead gray-green. The background is white, which makes her red mohawk even more striking. Also good. My favorite cover is the C by Jay Anacleto. This was a teaser limited cover for Issue #1 and it’s spectacular. The title character is shown from the hips up, holding a long sword before the reader, essentially cutting the cover in half. She’s covered in blood on her arms and stomach. There’s even a splash of crimson creeping down the left side of her face. The entire background is covered with creatures of all kinds swarming behind her with their claws reaching toward her. The colors are fantastic. This is tee shirt, poster, and print worthy. I love this cover. For the remaining eleven covers I don’t know how they are specifically referred to as my digital preview copy doesn’t show nor list them; I found the covers on Dynamite’s website. My titles for each are based on how Dynamite typically states their Incentive covers. The Virgin Incentive Garza cover is the same as the B without any text. The B&W Garza returns the text, but takes away the colors. This looks better colored. The B&W Nodet cover is the A without colors. This is still striking, but not as strong as when colored. That’s why I approve of the “Virgin” Incentive Nodet cover which is the A without text. The “Virgin” Incentive Anacleto is the C without any words and it’s beautiful. The B&W “Virgin” Incentive Garza is textless and without colors. I still like it better with colors. The B&W “Virgin” Incentive Nodet follows the same format, but still looks good. The Blue line “Virgin” Incentive Garza is without text or colors, but has all the linework in blue. An interesting choice. Not one that I’m fond of. Another different choice is the Red ink “Virgin” Incentive Nodet, which is the A cover without text, but now all the line work is red. This definitely foreshadows what’s to be found withing, but I like it better in black and white or colored. I do like the B&W Incentive Anacleto cover which has text, but no colors, and I do like the B&W “Virgin” Incentive Anacleto without text and colors. Both of these are worth getting. Overall grades: A A-, B A-, C A+, Virgin Incentive Garza A, B&W Garza B, B&W Nodet A-, “Virgin” Incentive Nodet A, “Virgin” Incentive Anacleto A+, B&W “Virgin” Incentive Garza B, B&W “Virgin” Incentive Nodet A, Blue line “Virgin” Incentive Garza C+, Red ink “Virgin” Incentive Nodet B+, B&W Incentive Anacleto A, and B&W “Virgin” Incentive Anacleto A

The story: Leah Williams set up Chastity’s troubles last issue and sets her loose for an issue of violent payback. The book opens with Chastity waking up next to four other women chained, handing from the ceiling, with an IV attached to her. She’s told to be quiet because “They’re coming back.” Another woman next to her whispers, “Orderlies or somethin’ have been making the rounds to keep checking on us — These IV bags are how they’re keeping us hydrated, I think.” She adds, “One of them took a shine to you while you were out, just heads up.” Two men enter and one goes immediately to Chastity to grab one of her breasts. The hero opens her eyes just before that happens and says, “Don’t scream.” She’s speaking to the women being held, not the men. Her eyes grow black, she shows her fangs, and proceeds to tear her assailant’s throat out. There’s a quick battle with the last man and then Chastity tells her rules to the women she frees so they can get out of their situation alive. This suggests that the remainder of the this issue will be a take down of their jailers until Williams throws in a major monkey wrench on Page 10. I was glad for the conversation on 11 and 13 which is something often overlooked in action series. I loved Chastity’s action at the bottom of 14. The action on 16 – 18 is awesome. The final two pages twist the story in another direction, with an escalation in action occurring next month. This was a fantastic action packed issue. Overall grade: A

The art: The artwork by Daniel Maine is good and increases in its awesomeness as the issue progresses. The first page is deceptively simple showing Chastity regaining consciousness with two close-ups shown. Maine then pulls back to show the women’s plight. Chastity’s facial reactions to the women’s comments are great, with the ones in the middle of Page 3 perfect. The bottom panel on the next page is a fantastically disarming panel that shows Chastity as all rainbows and kittens. This makes Page 5 all the more spectacular due to the graphic violence. It is absolutely appropriate to the story and is not for the squeamish. Chastity is stunningly powerful in the first panel on 6. The last panel on the page is a good way to crystallize the women’s situation. The smile and tongue lick that ends 8 is a slick way to show the protagonist is going to enjoy the next killing. By having the violence occur off panel, shown only by a splatter of blood on the wall, the reader’s mind makes the violence much more worse than Maine or any other artist could create. However, if one wants to see more gruesomeness, don’t worry — it’s coming. The action at the bottom of 14 has no dialogue but holds immense power of what’s to come. Pages 16 and 17 are the high point of the issue showing five stories going vertically across the pages showing with little text how the women are progressing through the ship. It’s extraordinary, strong, and thrilling. If one wants to see more violent action, 18 will not disappoint. The smile that ends the issue does not inspire confidence in me, but that’s a perfect visual for Maine to end the issue. This book looks fantastic. Overall grade: A 

The colors: The setting of this issue is within a ship so the backgrounds are often gray with white light shining through portholes. This allows the characters’ clothes and skin to pop out in the panels. The second panel on Page 2 has the background go a strong orange to increase the action of the title character pulling at her chains. Chastity’s red hair draws attention to her every time she appears. I love that her narration is put in a red box reminding the reader how deadly she can be even when not killing someone. When blood flies — and boy does it! — crimson dominates as the backgrounds go orange. Page 18 has the harshest colors since it contains the strongest violence. Bryan Valenza upped the intensity of the art with his colors considerably. Overall grade: A

The letters: Carlos M. Mangual is the creator of this issue’s dialogue, sounds, whispered text, narration, a death rattle, a whistle, a yell, and the tease for next issue. The dialogue is perfect and is differed from the narration with the latter being in italics. The sounds are few, but memorable. The whispered text is smaller than the dialogue, yet remains easy to read. One character’s death rattle on 5 is a perfect match for his exit. I like the whistle, which would be identifiable even without the accompanying visual. Overall grade: A

The final line: Once Chastity goes into action you won’t forget her. The story is smart and full of action. The visuals are excellent, with Chastity being beautiful and deadly. If you didn’t pick up the previous issue, it’s not a problem. Jump in here and enjoy the red ride. Recommended. Overall grade: A

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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