The first issue blew me away when I first read it & earned a worthy 10/10 (review here) and John’s Vital Publishing venture sees that #1 being remastered and re-released which in itself adds an extra level of detail that adds depth to an already brilliant title. To then have issue #2 pick up where that left off amid the all-out royal vs royal on the latest TV reality show has made the wait worthwhile.
John’s need to convey a message is all the more evident after that interview we had and the main event of the book may be “The Battle for the Crown” but the subtle elements weaved in play just as much a part in the overall vibe of the release. This emphasizes the question of what we would find entertaining about a televised fight to the death as a way to reach a status level that could seem laughable but manages to a achieve a strange, poignant meaning when compared to the fame hungry world we live in today.
The issue itself dishes out much the same thrills, kills & blood spills but offers far more – there’s something cruel but engaging about the very subject of the uber-rich killing each other off for entertainment purposes making this similar to that first issue where you just can’t put it down. The mix of likable & evil characters could be a precarious balance to maintain but it’s all done with ease by Farman’s intricate plot.
John Howard provides the artwork and his visuals are going from strength to strength given the broad elements he’s challenged with from Farman’s story. The brutality, the empathy and the absurdity of the situations are made all the more tangible and believable thanks to Howard. His detail is stunning and the power behind the action elements kicks the pace up between the TV-centred intervals. We also get a brief history of the island itself and how it became developed for this main event……an extra level of information that helps build the world being created.
Issue #2 is as full-on as that first issue – pulling no punches and no doubt bringing some additional controversy with it given some of the kills that are adding to the overall body count. Farman & Howard seem like a perfect match for this and makes this a must-read release from Vital Publishing…….and has me wondering when I can get my hands on the next issue……and the one after that.
Grab the remastered issue #1 at City Centre Comics in Glasgow & Deadhead Comics in Edinburgh – check the Vital Publishing Facebook page for more info.
Keep that issue #2 launch in mind too for this coming weekend.