Matt Johnson

MAYDAY #2 (of 5) – Comic Review

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MAYDAY #2 (of 5) came out a few weeks back.  The first issue took me by surprise as a random pick and hooked me right away.  How does part 2 fare?  Read on to find out.

See my MAYDAY#1 review here.

Art!

I mean, seriously. How great is this.

Title: MAYDAY #2

Writer: Alex de Campi

Artist: Tony Parker, Blond

Cover Artist: Tony Parker

Publisher: Image

Release Date: 12.4.2016

I picked up MAYDAY #1 because the cover art piqued my interest.  I hadn’t heard of it, nor had I seen any promotional materials, etc.  As I read through it I was hooked by the great story, interesting characters, and absurdly gorgeous art.  The cover of MAYDAY #2 is slightly less brash, but no less intriguing or excellent for it.

Mayday#2 is brutal.  Bru-tal.  Where issue #1 had some setup and introduction to do, the new issue gives you two pages of “welcome back”, throws you right into the action, and chews you up on the other side leaving you wondering 1. how you just got through so many pages so quickly and 2. why there isn’t more to read already.  It is seriously easy to get lost in the super-kinetic scenes unfolding with every turn of the page and it moves so quickly that, even if it were double the length, the end would still come too soon.

Did I mention it’s brutal?  We’re treated to fist fights, gunplay, more fist fights, and lots and lots of beautifully rendered blood and gore.  Also, roadkill.  You’ll understand when you get there.  The interesting thing about the brutality in this series is that, while it is intense and the body count is high (10, unless I missed one or two in the chaos), it never feels forced or gratuitous in a bad way.  People get shredded and it’s neat, but it’s all there because the story calls for it, rather than because it’ll sell more pages.  With that said there is a particular kill toward the end that struck me and caused me to take a few moment’s pause to evaluate how I felt about it.  Pause completed, I decided it was well executed (heh) and significantly added to what we know thus far about one of  our…heroes?  “Protagonist” might be a better word, in this case.  The stakes are raised now.  Everybody involved understands that.

As far as the overall story, there honestly isn’t a lot to discuss.  de Campi lets the action tell us what we need to this time around.  We see the plight of our two erstwhile spies, what they’re willing (and able) to do to succeed in their mission, and what the cost is going to be to those who feel the need to try to stop them.  We’re also allowed something of a quick insider’s view into larger plans – the men playing the pieces of the board, hands clean but just as ruthless in their own way.  This small aside lets us know that even if, or when the spies make it to their destination, the challenge will just be beginning for them.

One of the things I loved about the first issue was the use of musical cues, much like would occur in a movie.  Issue #2 continues this trend and if you wanted to read it as fully envisioned by the creators, it would be possible to put on each song selection as it’s noted on the page.  Again, though, this is such a quick read, you might not end up hearing too much of them.  As it was, when I was reading, they played through in my head and perfectly accented what was occurring on the page.

The art in issue #2 continues to be amazing.  We’re treated to dusky blues and purples at the beginning, a fluid transition into warmer oranges as the action heats up, and then washed out, almost bland colors to close the story out—with blood highlighting everything, naturally.  Parker and Blond execute composition and color flawlessly and also create an incredibly fast-paced feel to all of the action scenes.  There are less “hang on my wall” panes this time around but we’re treated to a master-class of motion and tension through cuts and angles.

I could possibly be accused of being a fanboy reviewer, because I’m fortunate enough that I generally get to pick what I want to review, and those things generally end up being things I end up liking.  Plenty of people out there make tearing down the things they supposedly love their bread and butter and I’m happy to not be one of those reviewers. That said, I have read a few things I wasn’t a fan of and, in the interest of credibility, have reviewed them honestly.

So when I say I love MAYDAY as a series, it’s not just me gushing because I have to, or that anyone asked me to.  In this case, especially, where it wasn’t even handed to me in a pile of stuff to go through, MAYDAY stands out.  It caught me, held me rapt, and continues to blow me away.  With as fast as this issue read, I know the rest of them are going to be done far too soon for my liking.  Fortunately the notes in the tail-end of #1 mentioned other stories further down the road.

As with MAYDAY #1, if you are not ok with seeing/reading a little skin, gore, and/or violence (most people who don’t like the previous two are ok with this one for some odd reason), you will probably want to find something a bit more family-friendly to read.

MAYDAY is a 5-part series. If you enjoy #1 and #2 check out #3 when it comes out 1.18.17.

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