There are a lot of enjoyable second issues out this week which is the first time I’ve said that all year. Just Another Sheep caught my attention with the first issue. I think it was our main character’s power set that really did it for me, he has the ability to make others feel what he’s felt. Usually this is pain or some kind of discomfort. The issue opens with a quick resolution to the last scene of the first issue. After that we flashback to Florida and see Banning opening up to his one and only friend, an older black man that he works with. He tries to explain that he’s different and what he means, but the guy isn’t understanding. Then Banning accidently makes him as blind as he is without his glasses and the man tells him to go and never come back. Someone else comes out of the darkness and introduces himself as Banning’s overseer… and then kills the man. The problem? Banning wasn’t quite gone and now he knows about the man. This gives us a ton of backstory as to why he’s running and what his motivation was. After that… well the world changes. That’s the shortest way to describe the events of the second issue. Trust me, it’s good.
I really thought this story was going to play it safe and stick to… well certain things that it presented in the first issue. I’m being intentionally vague because I don’t want to spoil anything. Instead, it plotted a new course and it’s better for it. The new element in this issue is a surprise for sure, but it works. If it had been hinted upon in the previous issue it would have felt out of place. Here it’s the center of the conversation and develops the plot nicely. It also gives you a big reason to come back for the third issue.
Overall the writing continues to be very strong. I enjoyed Banning’s poems being used for narration as they developed him as a character, but then also either contrasted with the imagery or showed a deeper emotion to a panel. I liked that the characters didn’t break character. It’s easy to get lost in an intense moment and suddenly your 70s era characters are using modern slang, but that didn’t happen. If anything they were so spot on that it stood out. Still, solid writing and believable dialogue.
The art was a big part of the success of the first issue and that continues here. The overseer character has a great design and look to him, but then really all of the characters have memorable designs. The action moments are spot on as well. Intense and easy to follow. There’s not a bunch of excess panels which was nice since it wasn’t the focus of the issue, just a nice treat. The coloring is fantastic. It’s very rich and vibrant and sets the book up for success since it looks like the era it’s set in.
Overall, I was more impressed with the second issue of Just Another Sheep. It was actually better than the first issue and in a lot of ways felt like a first issue. You really could start reading with this issue and not be lost on the previous issues events. I’d still recommend reading the first issue at some point, but I can wholeheartedly recommend this issue to people that are just looking to start here. Just Another Sheep is off to a great start and with only three issues left, I have high hopes that it’ll deliver a great rest of the story.
Just Another Sheep #2 (of 5) Writer: Mat Heagerty Artist: JD Faith Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 12/9/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital