By Mike Badilla
Ever hear the one about the Catholic priest and the immortal guy? Me either. Could have gone without ever hearing about them. Issue 2 of Skybourne begins with a Catholic priest climbing the steps to what looks like some kind of Tibetan temple. Some monks answer the door, and the priest asks if they received the case of Merlot he sent. This sounds like the setup to a lame joke. The monks let him in, and he asks where 'he' is, and they point to a man carrying a huge boulder. The priest approaches him and they exchange harsh words, all the while the young man is breaking this boulder apart by punching it, which is pretty cool. Just when it seems the two will start fighting, they burst into laughter. They are old friends from long ago. The young man (Thomas) explains that they are repairing the wall as it was damaged in a storm not long ago. The priest then tells Thomas why he's there.
It seems that the collective psyche of the world is being tainted by some supernatural force. The priest has come to find Thomas as he is immortal, one of the children of Lazarus (that dude that was raised from the dead in the Bible). The priest asks for the Thomas' help, but he declines and tells the priest to instead find his sister who is also super strong and immortal. The priest then lets him know that his sister is dead, which shocks him. We then have this super weird dream sequence (weird because we were just talking about his sister and now we have some scenes of him kissing a woman), and Thomas wakes up on a plane with the priest.
Thomas asks for more information about the death of his sister, and the priest tells him he will be briefed upon landing. The priest then fills in Thomas on all the changes that have happened around the priesthood, as Thomas has been gone for 29 years. He tells Thomas that most of the people he remembers have gone as there was a big change-up of leadership a while back. The priest also reveals that he knows why Thomas was in that monastery; he tried to kill himself 29 years ago by jumping out of a plane after the death of his wife.
The jet heads for the Swiss Alps and into a hidden bunker in the side of a mountain. Thomas is met by Taggart the butler, who knew Thomas before he disappeared. We are introduced to General Morger, who is in charge of this mountain hideout. He gives Thomas a stern talk about how the Vatican is no longer in charge, he is. Thomas is annoyed and leaves to cold storage, to see the body of his sister. Meanwhile, we see some wizard guy in a robe move a boulder away from a cave opening and calls forth some creepy beasts.
Ugh. I try to keep my reviews longer, but this book is wearing me out quickly. Was the woman from the flashback his sister, or his wife? We can assume all day that it's probably his wife, but why put that right after we talk about his sister, and before we even know he ever had a wife? Bad placement. The art is good. It has a very "computer made art" feel to it, a little too clean and sterile, but not bad. Everything looks nice and bright. The dialogue is entertaining at times, particularly the back and forth between Thomas and the priest when he first shows up in the monastery, but the story is just boring. That may be because it's book two. This does seem to be a very unique and untold story, and it's probably just a slow burn, but every page left me caring less and less about what happens next. I initially chose to review this book because I'd heard it had something to do with King Arthur, and I'm always down for some Arthurian legends, but this is like if James Bond were an immortal and devout Catholic, and I just don't care.
Writer/Artist: Frank Cho
Publisher: BOOM! Studios