The second issue of Quantum Mortis picks up where the first issue leaves off and finds our heroes continuing their investigation of the murder of Arpad Vladislaus Jagaelleon (that’s his real name). Tower and Hildreth get more to do here and we are introduced to a plethora of colorful characters, which is a nice change of pace from issue #1. Characters are better fleshed out and the mystery continues to build in intrigue in a follow-up issue that while still isn’t a perfect five-star hit, manages to improve on its predecessor in every way.
Things start out oddly contemplative. Tower enjoys a nice, long conversation with his augmented reality implant, Baby, about the nature of life and death. They bring up some deep questions and even mention being “saved by the Blood of the Lamb” which is a distinctly Christian phrase that I’m not used to hearing outside of my church walls. It’s not a Christian book by any means, but it’s nice to see something like Christianity mentioned in a comic book and it not being used as a joke or demonizing it, as seems to be the popular route to take these days.
The relationship between Tower and Hildreth is beginning to blossom more here and it’s nice that the writers are not taking the old ‘guy likes the girl, but the girl doesn’t like the guy’ route that the first issue hinted that it might. The admiration they share for each other seems evenly split down the middle, but there’s also a healthy dose of respect for their respective abilities to solve the case. It’s nice to have this element in place as opposed to only having the physical attraction between them. It makes them seem more like realistic characters.
The dynamic between Towers’ AR implant, Baby, and Detector Hildreth is also mined for some amusing moments. Baby is obviously jealous of Towers’ attraction to Hildreth and it’ll be interesting to see what direction the writers decide to take this; especially in light of the fact that they are already toying with the idea of Baby questioning her own existence and humanity, or lack thereof.
We get to see a lot more of the city and its inhabitants this time around too. One of my biggest complaints with the first issue is that nothing really happened and that the whole issue was basically one long conversation on a street corner. Not so this time around. Our heroes do some traveling about to interview some colorful characters who may or may not end up being antagonists later on in the story. These moments allow us a bigger peek into the wider universe as a whole as well as the residents who inhabit it. It’s clear that real-world issues are influencing some of the writing with there being plenty of undertones of foreign occupation, xenophobia, and political unrest. None of these elements drive the story, however, and they are not heavy handed, which is a nice change of pace when it comes to comic books.
The artwork was one of my favorite things from the first issue and it’s even better this time around. We still get that great pulpy, adventure style aesthetic, but this time around everything is more detailed and there is a lot more attention paid to the backgrounds, which was not the case last time. The coloring is also a lot better in this issue. Instead of everything being dominated by one or two hues, most everything is colored in singularly and it really helps the world pop off the page.
Pretty much every complaint I had with the first issue of Quantum Mortis has been addressed to some extent in this second issue. It’s still not a perfect book, and I still feel like with all the exposition, we don’t have much room for action, but everything about this issue is a solid step in the right direction.
- The Mystery Deepens
- A More Varied, Colorful Look At The World
- Still A Little Too Slow
- Still Too Much Exposition