Well if you thought the cliffhanger to the first issue was fucked, then wait until you read the second issue. I will give the creative team a lot of props for not pulling any punches on this book. Worst case scenarios for everyone! In the first issue of the four issue mini-series, we saw our crew barely fucking making it to their new home only to find a big fucking hole in the roof and basically everything that was supposed to be set up and waiting for them… destroyed. Their robot butler is on the fritz and they’ve now got just hours of oxygen left before they die.
But wait… there’s more.
The explosion that fucked everything in the first issue? Well it was bomb. That’s right, someone is a murderer/saboteur/traitor or just didn’t want the mission to go down at all. Our mouthy and confident character Dr. Park informs the new Captain about it and he shines some doubt on her saying that she had the most to gain from it. I’m 50/50 on that being true. Everyone records a video to send back home in case they die and the Captain’s video is… well enlightening. We learn a bit about everyone and some of their motivations for being on the trip. There is one part that I completely missed from the first issue, one of the characters has a shit load of enhancements or something because she doesn’t need a helmet and barely has any human emotions.
The art is solid. Huang Danlan has a wonderful style and really brings the dangers of this planet to life. He also brings a lot of emotion or lack thereof, to the characters. So much of their personalities pour right off the page. This gives us just as much information about them as their videos back home. Danlan's style is personally a style I like to see on my comics, clean and detailed, but with a ton of personality.
This was my first time with the coloring. The first issue, when I read it, wasn’t finished yet and was an early look. I wish I had waited for the coloring. It too makes the dangers real and sells us on the idea of this happening on Venus. The lighting is tremendous and the color palette that’s used gives the book a unique look. It doesn’t just look like the clean and white future that’s currently popular in comics and movies (thanks THX).
Huge shout out to Colin Bell on the lettering. He’s definitely one of my favorite letterers and he does a fantastic job with this issue. Letterers rarely stand out even to me, but Bell’s work is always so good. It always adds to the drama or the scene in general. In particular, in a flashback we see a man die by shrapnel hitting him in the face. The sound effect was disgustingly appropriate. There were several other great onomatopoeias as well.
This book is beyond fast paced. The issue is over before it really gets going and I like that. It keeps the danger real and the story moving along. I actually really like this book and if it can somehow top its cliffhanger from this issue… well, it might just move into the top spot on my mini-series list. It’s only four issues and so far two of them have been pretty damn great so give it a read. Let it surprise you.
Venus #2 (of 4) Writer: Rick Loverd Artist: Huang Danlan Colorist: Marcio Menyz Letterer: Colin Bell Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/27/16 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital