In Review: Descendent #2

They are watching. They are near. Now they are acting.

The cover: An orange haired woman wearing a black dress stands with her hands behind her back looking to be in distress. Behind her are five large violet cloaked individuals. Their faces contain the symbol that was found at the two kidnappings last issue, as well as at the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. The one directly behind the woman has his hands raised up. Flames are before the woman and a crimson colored psychedelic explosion is in the sky. This is another winning cover from Juan Doe who can make anything look spectacular. This symbolic cover has me wondering what will be found within this issue. Do not take drugs and look at this cover! Overall grade: A

The story: David Corey’s recent online videos deal with the children recently kidnapped and how they relate to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. A man watching the video on a laptop closes the screen and addresses the minion before him. The seated leader asks the minion if David is a threat. “He’s getting close, sir.” This individual is ordered to follow David and find out how much he knows. As soon as he leaves the leader turns to another minion, “Follow them both. Make sure he doesn’t screw this up.” All these individuals are wearing black robes with their hoods up, disguising their faces. Writer Stephanie Phillips then moves to a graveyard at night where FBI Agent Jo Hernandez and her partner Michael are waiting to meet with the kidnapper who left them a note at the second kidnapping. They’re in touch with agents nearby, but those people cannot be seen. A sound gets their attention and they see someone in a hoodie running. Jo pursues and the character is revealed. It’s not a surprise to the reader who this person is. What is a surprise is the reveal at the bottom of Page 10. On 11 and 12 and decision is made as well as motivation for the cult’s actions. The remainder of the issue is at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Two characters are in conflict over an individual and this person has some fun moments on 15 before things get serious. I like everything that happened afterward, with the book spinning off in a unpredictable and very exciting direction. I’m really enjoying how Phillips is teasing out information, leaving the reader trying to make sense along with the characters. This is an exciting read and I want more. Overall grade: A

The art: I also like the artwork by Evgeniy Bornyakov. The first page looks like a conspiracy put online (Not that I’ve watched some, but — uh, it looks real). Eagle eyed readers should pay attention to how many views he’s getting for this video. The next two pages introduce the antagonists and they look to have quite a bit of money or have existed for some time, given the large setting and what’s in it. Not one of their faces can be seen, but I do like the bit that’s shown in the bottom panel on 3. The graveyard is drawn well and I like Michael and Jo in it. The top panel on 5 teases another character at the location and I like the fleeting glance of the individual at the bottom of the page. Pages 6 and 7 are a double-paged splash and there’s no reason for it to be so: the setting was already established as vast and the characters are too far from the reader. Plus, the character that’s being chased looks as though he’s jog-walking. I do like the look of shock on 8 and the action that follows. The point of view in the fifth panel on 8 is perfect. The wide eyed, grim character that ends 9 is perfect. The reactions in the two panels that follow on the next page are good. I do like the reveal at the bottom of 10, which provides a good visual lead-in to the next page. I like the supplication pose of one character, which reinforces the words that are spoken. The posture and facial reactions of the characters on 13 and 14 really boost each character’s personality, making them both very strong. The first panel on 15 had me laugh out loud and I like the action that ends the page. Page 16 is a full-paged splash, and it should be, though I wish that Bornyakov had pulled in tighter to the characters; there’s just too much empty space. The reveal on 18 is great, with this character looking awesome. The panel that ends the issue is great for the clue left that’s picked up by one character without any text. I love when artists can tell the story without any dialogue needed. Overall grade: A-

The colors: The stark grays on the opening page by Lauren Affe make David look like a crackpot because this color makes it appear he lives in squalor. The blacks and browns on the next two pages classically connote age and power, so they were absolutely appropriate, as was the bright fireplace. I like that blues are used for the night sky, which allows the characters to receive dark colors, but not blend in with the sky if it had been painted black. The colors within the FBI Headquarters are exactly the plain, no nonsense tones that this building would contain — and resembled those shown on The X-Files. I loved the blues and lighter shades on 15. I’m liking what Affe is doing. Overall grade: A

The letters: Troy Peteri of A Larger World creates transmission, computer text, dialogue, sounds, yells, a hummed melody, and the three word tease for next issue. The transmissions are David’s dialogue from his online videos and they look like they’ve come through a machine, as does the specific font that’s on his videos. The dialogue is easy to read and I like that the yells, with more than one kind, are in a bolder and thicker font to make them heard better by the reader. The hummed melody is fun to read and I fully admit to reading it aloud to see if I could identify it. Peteri is doing good work. Overall grade: A

The final line: They are watching. They are near. Now they are acting. The antagonists appear, but their hoods keep their identities hidden. David is in deeper than he knows and Jo and Amanda argue what’s to be done with the conspiracy theorist. The mystery grows with more clues, but much still needs to be revealed.  I’m in this for the long haul! 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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