Review: Xeno Trip #2

I was a pretty big fan of the first issue of Xeno Trip. It was humorous; the story, while not wholly original, had a great pacing and stuck with a formula that worked. It was a solid launch to one of the first Comixology Submit books to use “guided view native” or GVN. The second issue is okay. It’s not as strong of an issue as the first and really it’s all just a setup for the last page. I know that’s a typical comic book trope to end on a cliffhanger to bring the reader back, but because it’s so well-worn it doesn’t always work and can make the plot of an issue transparent. In the last issue King Cody of Bennett decided that he wanted to visit the site of his first appearance after waking up not remembering the past two weeks of his life. A majority of the issue is spent getting him to the location which is a rock formation that resembles a dragon hanging over some waterfalls. Once there a female ninja alien shoots Cody in the neck with a dart. He blacks out for a while and has a memory of drinking some of his Grand pappy’s booze with a friend that we aren’t shown. He wakes up and finds his guards are outmatched for the female ninja assassin lady.

There were only a few times I smiled at the jokes in this issue, but I didn’t laugh like the last issue. There weren’t that many jokes which would have been fine had something taken their place. Instead this issue really was just a lot of walking. In a lot of ways it was as if the creators where more interested in the “guided view native” feature than progressing the story. The first issue was easy to sum up because it was a well-worn formula, but there was personality and intrigue to it. This second issue isn’t bad, but it’s average. It’s easy to sum up because really only two things happen.

Xeno Trip #2 Cover (with GVN Logo)Don’t get me wrong the creator’s effective use the GVN feature quite well, but it hinders the story this time around. It honestly reminded me of the Spider-Man story that I read that was also in GVN; it was more like a tech demo than a comic book. GVN is a start in the right direction for digital comics, but it’s clear that it’s not 100% the answer just yet.

The art continues to be great. By now you should be able to figure out my one and only complaint about it would be… see the previous two paragraphs. It was interesting to see what the “enemy” looked like and what Cody’s guard’s looked like outside of their uniforms. There’s not a lot of differences which is interesting because it gives it a “The Butter Battle Book” vibe.

I still really like this series, but this issue didn’t win me over as much as last time. For one thing there wasn’t a single Sir Mix-a-Lot joke to be found in the issue. I mean if you call that living then I don’t want to live. Seriously though this book took a dip, but if you liked the first issue I would still check it out so that the next issue makes sense. I hope that series finds its way back to the formula of the first issue because that was working; and tone down the fascination with GVN and remember that people are there for the story first.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Quinton Miles Artist: Daniele Cosentino Publisher: Qam Comics Price: $.99 Release Date: 1/8/14