This issue has a recap of the first issue which was a big relief for me since A) I had forgotten about this series and B) I really couldn’t tell you everything that happened because it was disjointed as a story. Which sucked because I had a lot of interest in the series and found myself disappointed. I almost skipped checking this issue out, but really checking out after one issue when there’s only one creator doing everything is just shitty and I couldn’t do that. I do believe that I discovered something with this series because of this issue… I don’t think we’re supposed to take this story seriously. That’s not to say that it makes the story make more sense or forgives the stumbles in how it presents the story, but taking that view point it did make the story more entertaining than the first issue. It really shows how much of a mess the storytelling is because I’m still just assuming that and the story overall is doing a poor job of clarifying if this is a hokey action story or a failed attempt at being serious action.
Clandestino as our main character is known as, has hitched a ride with his friend who was the leader of the Koyam rebels. They head back to their base to find it on fire and everyone still inside… lucky the guns were left untouched in the hidden part of the base. Maybe next time they’ll put people there as well… just saying. At this point Clandestino is charged with saving his childhood friend that happens to be a smoking hot lady and finishing the revolution… on his own. I guess because his friend is dying… though that’s just told to us later on. I just thought he was tired and sitting a lot.
An intense rescue scene happens after Clandestino stops for gas. I’m not shitting you, he stops for gas and the clerk runs out to tell him he forgot his change, I suspect so that Clandestino could say “keep the change.” Meanwhile, Leena his childhood friend and super-hot lady friend has killed her captor after he used a fire hose on her… I suspect to make her nip. I’m not joking, she’s wearing a white tank top that never gets dirty.
The rest of the book is a splash page of Clandestino killing a lot of dudes and flipping them the bird and then a Mad Max inspired car chase scene that was pretty fucking incredible. We also meet the bad guy at some point and again, I shit you not, he’s dressed like M. Bison… from the Street Fighter movie. That’s when I fell in love with this book. That’s when I knew it couldn’t possibly be serious because it even jocks the Shadaloo logo.
The story is bonkers. There’s huge leaps in logic that it asks you to make, like when the dying friend just puts everything on Clandestino’s shoulders and he never once addresses the fact that his friend is dying. Or when Clandestino throws not one, not five, but seven grenades and jumps out a window and as they explode in the next panel he’s driving away with Leena. The story has problems, but when you accept that it’s really just a crazy action film made into a comic book… that’s when it becomes great. Had that been clearer in the first issue or even at the start of this issue, then I would probably have loved the first issue a lot more.
The art is the best thing about the book because it’s detailed and Clandestino has a great look. The action is over the top and not exactly gory, but bloody. Guys get shot through the bottom of their jaw and the bullet exits the top of their brain and it’s magnificent. The car chase scenes are no different. Detailed, over the top, but they look good. Car chase scenes in comics usually suck, but not here.
Part of me really wants to score this book higher. It’s not perfect, but when I finally realized that it wasn’t meant to be taken serious I really fell in love with it. Ultimately thought it’s still a very flawed book. For all its action and character moments there are just an excess of pages and scenes that don’t serve the story or the characters. While some of them are cheeky and fun, others leave you scratching your head. If you’re looking for a romp and you can forgive all the stumbles the story makes, then you can find some fun with Clandestino. If you can’t overlook its faults though, you’re better off dating another comic.
Clandestino #2 Creator: Amancay Nahuelpan Publisher: Black Mask Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/16/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital