By Dustin Cabeal
With the zero issue, this is technically the third issue I’ve read of Little Guardians, and I really like it. With this latest issue, it introduces some of the coming threats that are antagonists will face, but it’s not without its problems.
The zucchini festival is about to kick into full blast with the town’s guardian waiting in the wings to bless the event. His “son” is sitting by himself and gets peer pressured by some local boys to whip out his guardian who is a boar. Pay close attention to this if you didn’t read the zero issue because this will give you a clue to the backstory of the series.
The kid also unleashes a ton of buggy evil spirits that attack the town and its people. The Guardian gets to work, but he’s outnumbered until the arrival of another guardian. She’s there for his help as we later learn, but he’s more concerned about his “son.” The “daughter” of the shopkeeper finds her spirit protector again, and it’s an awesome panther. It saves her and carries her away, but because she doesn’t understand that it’s her spirit protector she runs away from the cat.
What is becoming frustrating is the slowed pace of the story. There’s way too much build up for the festival, and a lot is hinted out, but we need at least one, maybe two reveals to keep the interest in the story. It’s not hard to figure out, and frankly, any kid at this reading level will have already figured out part of the story even if they missed the zero issue. The point is, it needs to speed up and get to some kind of reveal. What was very annoying was that the nurse and doctor had a chance to say something in this issue and didn’t. Instead, they were given almost an entire page to think about it and throw zucchinis at monsters. Otherwise, the writing is good. The dialogue has a nice flow, and the character has a unique voice, it just the story itself needs to move a bit faster if it's going to hold anyone’s attention.
The art continues to be consistent which I’m sure sounds like a lame compliment, but it’s one of the best I can give in the world of monthly comics. There’s another comic I will review this week that suffered from inconsistent artwork, both in style and detail. Little Guardian looks the same from beginning to end, and if anything, this issue is a bit improved over the last. The character designs still miss the mark for me, but for others, they may like them more.
Little Guardian is close to being something great, but for now, it’s just good. I’ll give it a few more issues for sure, but my hope is that they reveal some of what we already know to the characters so that the story can start progressing. That way the drama can stop feeling forced, which is unfortunately how this issue comes across. Even still, it’s an enjoyable series for people that like fantasy stories without the intense adult themes.
Little Guardians #2
Writer: Ed Cho
Artist: Lee Cherolis
Colorist: Dann Tincher
Publisher: Scout Comics