By Jonathan Edwards
By the end of The Few #2, my overall impression of the series had changed somewhat. Now looking back, the first issue kind of feels like more of a prologue than the actual start of the story. It moved kind of slow, and, more than anything else, it provided setup for certain characters and circumstances so they can be easily developed in greater detail later. But at the same time, it doesn't feel like a requirement to read in order to pick up and understand this issue. Anything really integral to the story is reiterated, and Lewis does a fine job working it in without it feeling too clumsy.
We start off once again with a map. This time it's the State of Montana, which is I guess where in the Post-Apocalyptic States of America this story is taking place, at least for the moment. Branching out of the revelation of Hale's true intentions at the end of the last issue, we get a glimpse of her early days working for the Palace. It's a nice sequence that establishes her character a bit more firmly. That combined with what we learn about her and Ephram at the end of the issue finally gives us some more substantial to intrigue to help us want to follow and know more about her.
We also get some light shone on Herrod, whose shtick I didn't quite get initially. And I have to say, it didn't disappoint. It was actually potentially detrimental, as now I'm kind of more interested in him and his story than following Hale. Same goes for the detachment of Palace troops sent to investigate the village Herrod slaughtered. Only their leader, Captain Jariks is named, both her and all of her subordinate that we see show pretty likeable personalities. Are we really supposed to be rooting for the Remainder States? Because, I kind of like the Palace. Then again, there is the whole depriving others of clean air and water thing.
The art had me on the fence last time, but it's working much better here. All the great stylistic choices remain, but it all feels cleaner. There's not really anything that suffers from being too sketchy or overly detailed. Although, there is one panel during Hale's flashback, where I didn't get what was happening at first. It turns out that it was someone tagging Hale with spray paint, as the next panel explains. However, there's no good reason that couldn't have been visualized more clearly.
If you liked what all Lewis started in the first issue, I'm sure you'll like where he take it with this one. If you haven't been reading but are into the post-apocalyptic scene, this is probably worth taking a look. Really, I think this is one of those issues that serve as a nice barometer for the book as a whole. If you're not really digging the series by the end, it's probably safe to say you don't need to keep reading.
The Few #2
Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Publisher: Image Comics