Well this series didn’t wait around to reveal a bunch of stuff. What’s in the room is the big question for this issue and I will tell you that it is somewhat revealed by the end of the issue. It’s shocking to say the least. Much like the first issue we begin with a new character and away from the main story. I will not spoil her introduction, but it is probably one of the most realistic usages of one’s powers in all of comic history. Writer Noel Clarke goes there, though you’ll have to read to understand where “there” is. It’s that level or real world maturity that truly makes this book about super powered people stand out.
Much like the first issue we then dive into the past of our character Willis. She’s in college and breaks down the group dynamic of the university she attends. Her best friend seemingly kills herself and she’s left feeling alone in the world. The rest of her story is worth reading and is some of Clarke’s best character work on the series thus far.
After that we check in with our pseudo family of freaks as they’re adjusting to each other. Our fire starter is the one that begins the inquiry into the room and we learn that their benefactor is a very rich and powerful man. It’s a quick check in as we meet another new character. His story and background is very different from the rest of the group. For instance, when he comes home to find his parents dead he takes the cash and jewelry and gets the hell out of there at their request. As if they knew it would happen one day. Eventually these three stories come crashing together and we learn a little about the bad guys that are hunting them down.
This story is very much an M-Rated X-Men or really if there was something after M, but before X. It just takes the barebones idea of genetic superpowers and takes it on in a mature and realistic manner. Clarke’s narration is very strong and gives a lot of insight into the characters. This is particularly useful when meeting them because it helps us get to know them. The only gripe with the characters this time around is that our established characters aren’t developed or given any real page time. Instead Clarke opts for a refresher on their power set rather than their personalities. Overall, still really good writing and the new characters are likeable and interesting.
On the art side of things, it continues to be very detailed and photo realistic looking. J. Cassara isn’t just detailed, but also a talented storyteller. The panel layouts and design choices really drive the story and in particular support the flashback stories that establish our new characters. Additionally, it’s visually interesting when we start seeing our new characters use their powers. The coloring is a big part of the success of the art. The gritty darkness that’s used really makes the story feel as mature as it reads. This story isn’t nice and the art and coloring reminds you of that as much as the writing does.
Thankfully this second issue is right in line with the first issue. The first issue hit hard and this second issue keeps up with its pace. Though I do wonder if there will be an issue in the future that slows down and lets the reader catch their breath. If not then gasp for air and keep up with The Troop, because for now it’s not slowing down.
The Troop #2 Writer: Noel Clarke Artist: J. Cassara Publisher: Titan Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/13/16 Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital