Review: NVRLND #2

I can’t remember the last time I read a comic and had such mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I’m still enjoying the story and adaptation of Peter Pan. The authentic feeling L.A. setting might only appeal to me, but then I’m the only one reading it when I’m reading it. On the other hand, the art struggles a lot, particularly in this issue. Along with that is the story’s pacing and just an overall rushed feeling to the series. We’re given some back story about Tiger Lilly this issue, which is very different as her “tribe” is now a “gang” and her father’s death is what pushed her mother into law enforcement. This flashback then becomes a story that Lilly is telling Wendy which was a nice twist to justify it in the story. We do strangely pick back up with Lilly and Wendy ditching school on Wendy’s first day. They end up at Amoeba Music which means they really had to fucking walk to get there and likely got those churros from Jack in the Box across the street… they will shit later, and it won’t be pretty.

nvrlnd-2There they run into Peter again and explain that they’re ditching because of the fight they had, but they’ve become fast friends, and it’s all good. Peter lets them know that they’re playing a show that night, and we get a clever way of finding Neverland, which always moves. That part was enjoyable. Captain Hook’s part… not so much.

The story does not give us even the slightest clue as to why Hook and Peter hate each other. It’s alluded to that Peter took Hook’s hand, but that’s it. Why did he take the hand? What’s Hook’s motivation for making every woman he likes or sleeps with take a drug that makes them fly and fall to their death? This is the first real problem I have with the adaptation because everything else is explained, at times painstakingly, but with this aspect, it plays off of our history with the material rather than doing the work itself. I need to know why this Peter Pan and this Captain Hook hate each other and right now I don’t. Sure Hook made the girl who Peter was sleeping with in the first issue kill herself, but we’re the only ones that know that for sure. It doesn’t explain the history.

The art suffers from the writing, partially. There are not enough pages for the art to flow and progress the story correctly. Instead, it jumps around a lot, and while it seems like a problem created by the art, it’s the writing that’s done this to the art. The art’s other problem, its real problem, is that is inconsistent. I’ve never recognized Peter twice, and if Wendy weren't wearing a recognizable shirt, there would be the same problem. It’s strange because the characters look the worst throughout the issue. It’s not the worst I’ve ever seen, but it’s a far cry from good. The designs and settings are a delight, but when it comes to the characters… well, I don’t bother looking at them much if I can help it.

For all my critiques, I still enjoy the story that’s going on. There’s some predictable elements, and even some that don’t make sense, but overall it’s entertaining. I think it would have benefitted from having an extra issue or two to flesh the story out more, but for what’s presented here and in the first issue, it’s a decent series to read if you like Peter Pan, L.A., or music. If you like all three, that would be preferable.

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NVRLND #2 Writers: Stephanie Salyers & Dylan Mulick Artist: Leila Leiz Colorist: Thomas Chu Publisher: 451 Media Price: $3.99 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital