Stop it. Just stop it Michael Moreci and Matt Battaglia with your exquisite artwork and wonderfully told story that plunges the very depths of my soul. Who are you trying to fool? You can’t both really be this good can you?
I was slightly concerned that after reading your exceptional first issue, which casts a horrifyingly ominous light on terrorism and indoctrination, that issue two just couldn’t measure up. Whilst not quite as strong as the first instalment, it seems my fears were entirely misplaced. What is it the kids say these days?
This book is killing it.
If there is one indie comic I recommend you pick up this year it would have to be this. What surprises me though is it’s just so different from Z2 Comics’ other titles, where did this little gem come from? Who cares, I’m on the train. I’ll be there till the end, yes I too have been indoctrinated it would seem.
We drop right into another exceptionally presented American town, following our two FBI agents and their terrorist aid Wilkins as they track down the faceless terrorist known as Sahir. The sun seems to glow off the very pages themselves, as if Battaglia had somehow bottled a part of our nearest star, dipped his pencil in it and just let rip. The imagery is powerful and vivid as we see one of the faithful being dunked beneath the water by a local religious leader and the man our trio is there to see. It appears one of his congregation was attacked by a man with Sahir’s mark tattooed upon his chest: the serpent. This new revelation puts the investigation into high gear as they set out to find the tattoo artist, hoping it would lead them to Sahir himself.
The mysterious agent known only as Huxum is hot on their trail, we still don’t know his true role in all of this but it adds an intriguing element to the story, something else to ponder on as plot races forward. Things are a lot more action packed in this second issue, the team's pursuit of the tattooist leads them to a cartel shoot-out which is nothing short of spectacular. Some comics can make action scenes a big confusing mess but this was done expertly, you could almost hear the bullets fly as our FBI duo fight their way to safety. Remember those bright, neon blues Battaglia used in issue one? Well my word if he hasn’t stepped it up a gear in his use of colour here, it practically drips from the page as the blood is spilled.
Due to the dark, sketch style of artwork he employs, at times it can be difficult to discern one character from another but who cares? When I look at a beautifully decorated christmas tree, it doesn’t bother me that I can’t see the individual pine needles ya know?
What we have here is an exceptionally rare blending of creative talent, writer and artist coming together to create something magical, and haunting…
Like its title, this book warps your perspective, as you fall inevitably along the paths of our protagonists, you can’t escape it. There’s more in store for them, for us, but perhaps we’re powerless to stop it...
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Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Matt Battaglia
Publisher: Z2 Comics
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital