Matt Johnson

Klaus #2 of 6 – Comic Review

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Just in time for Christmas, Klaus returns for another issue full of awesomeness.

See my review of Klaus #1 here.

Klaus #2
Title: Klaus #2 (of 6)

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Artist: Dan Mora
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: December 2015

Make it a very Merry Yuletide for someone special in your life, YOU MUST BE READING THIS COMIC! Get Klaus #2 delivered right to your or that special someone’s doorstep.

When I read Klaus #1 I was hooked immediately.  The series adds a little grit, a fantastical “historical” setting, and a badass backstory for a character that’s not generally thought of as anything more than a jiggly happy guy with a beard.

Issue #2 of Klaus opens almost immediately after the end of the first.  The cover art shows us that Klaus has now moved into sneaky attack position and the first panels show two guards talking while Klaus prepares.  The dialogue shows that the town is shaken up by some of the events that transpired in the first issue.  Klaus dispatches the guards with one of the greatest take-down’s I’ve seen.  It made me laugh.  Perfect execution, if you’ll pardon the unintentional pun.

Klaus then sneaks through the town and defaces posters of the towns evil leader, again making me laugh with the way it was done.  He then moves on and fulfills what you’d expect his true character to do.  This serves two purposes:  First, to bring a little light to the beleaguered townspeople and second, to rub mud in the face of the leaders of the town yet again.  Klaus is trying to shake up the whole system in a single night and the next day’s reactions show he has done so extremely well.

We spend a little time with the evil brat-kid again and still just loathe him entirely.  He’s spoiled and impetuous and it seems as though there isn’t a shred of good or redemption in him.  The mother, however, makes a discovery during one of his tantrums and we get the impression she and Klaus may have some sort of history—yet to be revealed.

The last bit of the issue is a chase between a brute of a warrior and Klaus who, again, mixes brutal violence and humor as the two do battle.  These pages have a perfect sense of intensity and motion to them, and the pace definitely picks up as we build toward the end.  By the time the last panel ends with the now-to-be-expected ‘TO BE CONTINUED…” you feel as harried and treacherously-placed as Klaus does.

Klaus does such a good job at immersing you in its world that it’s really hard to praise it more than I already have.  The art remains immaculate, from taut muscles, beautifully framed and kinetic fights, gruff, brutal faces—sometimes midway through getting pulverized, and setups for funny moments that are, to use the word again, perfectly executed.

One of the things that makes issue #2 stand out is a subtle change in the color spectrum used.  Everything is still bleak and cold but at the same time there is a lot more warmth starting to creep in.  Even in the scenes set in darkness or semi-darkness, the structures and background will be blue-toned, but the lighting on focal elements is warm and natural, fire and sun.  The reds and oranges are punched, and even the blue-tones are often enhanced and more lively feeling than the previous episode.  Even our main baddie’s scenes are colored with some well placed reds to contrast their blacks and earth-tones.

Klaus opened strong in the first issue.  I loved every page of it, have gone back and re-read it multiple times, and have pored over the gorgeous art.  I was a bit nervous #2 wouldn’t deliver fully, extremely talented team and all.  My worries were completely unfounded.  If anything, Klaus #2 is better.  The intro is out of the way now and the writer and artist focused on changing the palette a bit and showing a bit of humor in the character—usually during a scene of violence.  Seriously, I laughed out loud a few times.  I love this series and can’t wait to see where the next four issues take our hero…because there are allusions to some big things yet to be revealed.

If you’re reading this and haven’t read issue #1, what are you, some kind of savage?  Read the first one and then come back and read this one again.  I’d also recommend anything in the Conan series if you enjoy this kind of hack/slash, sword and sandals kind of world, though nobody in the snowy world of Klaus could pull off summer footwear.

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