I’m digging this story. I was surprised by the first issue and I think a lot of other readers were as well. This second issue doesn’t exactly take off running, but it certainly continues to lay a solid foundation for what looks to be a rather complex story. There are elements introduced in this issue that you won’t see coming and they only made me want to read more of The Last Broadcast. Don’t let the opening of this issue scare you, we don’t have the context to understand it yet. It’s there to plant seeds for the rest of the story and to make you ask questions, just make sure you’re paying attention for when the answers are given later on. After the shock opening we pick up back in the hospital room with Ivan and the nurse that is so totally not a nurse. She’s wearing a classic black dress and we discover her name is Ella. They chat for a few as Ivan asks how she knew he was a magician and gives him some of the things they found on him when he was brought in, including a tape recorder.
After Ella leaves, Ivan begins listening to one of the tapes to piece together the events that led him to the hospital bed. It’s very clever because it jumps the story ahead slightly, but fills the reader in at the same time. We know that Dmitri is “missing” and this sent Ivan on a path to find him and figure out the pictures that were sent to him pertaining to Blackhall.
Ivan ends up at a rare books bookstore and the owner is a loon. He shouts out something about Conan Doyle being a fanatic rather than greeting Ivan like a normal person. Ivan asks if he’s seen Dimitri and the dude seems to be living in his own world. Ivan shows him the picture and the old man smiles. He finds a water mark of sorts on the picture and prints it off for Ivan. He also gives him a random book that he was babbling about that Doyle apparently wrote that unlocks the secret returning to life after death.
Afterwards he sees a hooded figure wearing the watermarked image on their hoodie and begins chasing them. He loses them right outside of a door that bears the same mark.
Well I’ll definitely be finishing this series now. I didn’t even need the cliffhanger at the end, but it was pretty cool. Andre Sirangelo has taken care to make sure that this graphic novel could stand alone as individual chapters. This issue stands on its own for sure and continues the story from the first chapter. We get a better idea of the characters in this issue which balances the thrill and story setup from the first issue. The pacing is steady and I really hope that it doesn’t change because the story is rewarding and yet over in nothing flat. I couldn’t tell you how long it took me to read it, but I didn’t feel cheated by pages like other comics.
There’s no denying that the art is playing a huge role in the success of this series. Artist Gabriel Iumazark has Ashley Wood qualities to his art, but then almost an anime flair as well. Ivan and other male characters in the story have effeminate designs, but it works with the rest of the world. In a strange way it makes Ivan look younger than the other male characters which I think plays into the story.
The mystery of this series is what will keep most people coming back and that’s certainly the most interesting aspect of the story. I have high hopes that it’ll finish strong, but if you haven’t even begun reading then get on it. It’s not sold out so you should be able to request it from your comic shop at the very least or you can always go the digital option. For me it’s becoming one of my favorite books to follow and it’s a pleasant reminder of the quality of titles that Archaia has been known for. I’m not seeing a lot new Archaia books coming down the pipeline, but there is a vibe and quality to them that is solely their own. Hopefully this gives the imprint a much-needed boost.
Writer: Andre Sirangelo Artist: Gabriel Iumazark Publisher: Archaia/Boom Price: $3.99 Release Date: 6/18/14 Format: Mini-Series/OGN, Print/Digital