By Ben Snyder
Elsewhere #2 is a much quieter issue than the one prior, and it is better off for it. Not much action happened in this issue. However, the central characters of Earhart and D.B are only getting richer. With high-quality art and an interesting take on famous figures, Elsewhere is beginning to show potential for a fun, entertaining series.
After a short recollection of how they both ended up in this strange land, Earhart is brought to trial. It seems that Earhart somehow fulfills some prophecy in this land in which the stereotypical villain, Lord Kragen, is defeated. Because of this, he sends her to death, only instead for her to be snuck out through the trash chute. I am glad that Jay Faerber isn’t focusing so much on Lord Kragen because he really is unremarkable. He’s the evil horned king that is present in most fantasy stories, and he works well here because he doesn’t take the spotlight from the main character, Amelia Earhart.
Earhart is the focal point for which the entire story fixates on and for a good reason. Faerber makes her a compelling character. She is caring and compassionate, displayed in how she asks the guard who Cort and Tavel paid off if D.B can come with, and then only emphasized by how she asked if the guard would get in trouble. She is fearless and brave going so far as asking the obvious evil king if he saw Fred, and most importantly she is not stupid.
I like the idea of having Amelia Earhart tag team with a shady criminal such as D.B Cooper. Let’s not forget that D.B Cooper literally went on a plane saying he had a bomb and the only way he would not detonate it is if they gave him $200,000 before it landed. When he did, he parachuted out of the plane. This is not a good dude, so the fact that he would hide his reasoning for leaving the plane to Earhart is fitting and I liked how shady and manipulating he is being. Perhaps he will even turn out to be a villain in this series. Also it was funny seeing him pinch Tavel’s cheeks and calling him cute.
Speaking of Cort and Tavel, I feel like they aren’t being 100% honest to Earhart. While at first they seemed to be the typical comic relief for this story, Cort at least was awfully suspicious this issue. The elder reprimanding Cort because he brought more humans to their camp and how he denied it to Earhart’s face was especially damning. It doesn’t seem like Earhart bought his lies either, so hopefully they will play up this distrust in future issue.
Sumeyye Kesgin does an amazing job with the art in this issue. I loved how the flashbacks for Earhart and Cooper were in black and white. The cartoonish style works really well with the scenery and the story’s tone and it’s only heightened by Kesgin’s ability to still convey emotion well on each of the character’s faces. I’m becoming more and more okay with the more typical aspects of this story because Kesgin’s cartoony style seems to mock the trope. Lord Kragen in particular looks like a caricature of every fantasy villain that came before him. And I hope they keep toying with this because otherwise, Kragen would serve no purpose and become tiresome quickly.
While the story is still overwhelmingly unoriginal, I don’t really think it’s a bad thing. I think with the correct talent behind it, it can still be an enjoyable ride. And Elsewhere #2 is definitely that as well as an improvement on the first issue and makes me genuinely excited for the next one. Hopefully, Faerber and Kesgin continue to add just enough intrigue to the story to prevent anyone from pumping the brakes.