Adrienne Fox

Apocalypse Al #2: One Small Step for Humankind

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In Apocalypse Al #2, Al visits with her dead mom, faces down some angry imps, and shows off her defensive driving skills to save the world. This woman’s work is never done!

Apocalypse Al #2 cover via

Apocalypse Al #2 cover via

Apocalypse Al #2
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Sid Kotian
Colors: Bill Farmer 
Publisher: Image Comics
Release date: March 5, 2014

Pick up a copy of Apocalypse Al #2 (of 4) (Cover A – Kotian & Farmer) for apocalyptic fun!

So Apocalypse Al #2 picks up right where the first issue left off, Al without her pants at a serious business meeting with the Ultimate Darkness. She makes it home eventually to put on pants before heading out to visit Ronnie, a techno-mage, whiz kid that can bend time. Then, she’s shot at and chased by angry imps. Quite a day, really.

What a charmer Ronnie turns out to be! He uses his time bending skills to further some questionable proclivities. Al describes him as obsessed with women’s clothes, but I might call him a pervert—at a minimum. I mean, Al claims to find intimate pieces of clothing on backwards or missing after temporal episodes with Ronnie. Ugh, what a creep. But he is such valued source for information for Al that she lets Ronnie jack her into a virtual world trusting him with her body one more time. Al is on a fact finding mission regarding Frances Walther, the guy with the Book of Keys who will soon end the world. Preventing Walther from ending the world trumps her personal safety in this story.

After working her way through the virtual world to the spiritual void, Al meets her deceased mother’s spirit. Her mother proves to be a difficult customer in a tenuous mother-daughter relationship. After some antagonistic banter, her mom gives up the smallest of clues about a tower. If I were Al, I would have been pissed off. Risking my well-being with pervert Ronnie only to get a scrap of information after enduring the encounter with mom is not my idea of a good deal.

After Al leaves Ronnie’s place the story picks up with a car chase! Imps firing automatic weapons and driving too fast for safety is pretty cool. The book culminates is a fireball. The chase is only a few pages but by far the most fun part of Apocalypse Al #2.

After a great start in Apocalypse Al #1, a book that I found funny and compelling despite the lack of pants, Apocalypse Al #2 was a little flat for me. Would the woman I met in the first book really subject herself to Ronnie’s habits for a long shot with so little return? I hadn’t thought so. Obviously, I’m not a fan of Ronnie. I didn’t think the virtual excursion deepened Al’s character or furthered the plot. I really like Kotian’s art style, especially when drawing otherworldly creatures. However Al’s pose on the cover, with the” impossible twist” showing off butt and boobs simultaneously, seems like an exploitive choice to me. Al is sexy for sure as depicted by Kotian. And, we know she enjoys being a woman and looking good as Straczynski shows us through her character and dialogue. Those elements are present throughout both issues without the extra “help.”

Recommendation: I’m sticking with Apocalypse Al and hoping that issue #3 pulls me back into the arc.

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