Thursday, February 27, 2014
"You'll pay for this."
A superhero's work is never done. Especially when a supervillain is threatening the safety of the city that superhero calls home. When the superhero has a brother though and the two of them work together, maybe safety isn't too far away. Cue Chaos and Element in Guardians #2 from BlackMagic Wolf Productions. The issue is written by Todd Black and illustrated by Alex Garcia.
Licking their wounds from their last encounter with Tempest, Chaos and Element are regrouping. Tempest handed it to them and they're forced to consider their next steps, which just so happen to involve the wisdom of experts. Where they go from there is anyone's guess, but if Tempest is any sort of supervillain, it's expected that he'll most likely be one step ahead of them.
Black maintains a focus on the relationship between brothers Chaos and Element, as both are clearly supportive of the other and want to ensure the other's safety. Tempest is proving to be a more than capable foil for the two, eschewing the loyalty of brotherhood for the chaos that comes with sheer power. There are still some pacing problems with the issue, as the book seems to plod along relatively slowly until the last page when the city is in peril. The battle focusing on Chaos/Element against Tempest is the sole plot in the series so far, which might be part of the reason why the story feels a little sluggish at times. Otherwise, the story is pretty solid, especially when it looks at Chaos and Element as brothers and the endearing, brotherly love they share for one another; something that's not really been focused on in many other books. There's an unspoken bond between brothers that often transcends anything else and that really shines in Guardians #2.
Garcia's art maintains the consistency from the first issue. Chaos and Element do look a little posed at times, but Tempest maintains a natural energy to him and infuses the book with a bit more realism. There are a lot more supporting characters in this issue and Garcia does a great job both differentiating them from each other and using them to move the intensity of the story. There are some city shots that are particularly impressive and clearly required a great effort on Garcia's part. The mix of panels also keep the reader engaged and prevents the art from feeling too monotonous or boring as the book progresses.
Guardians #2 continues the plot established in the first issue and advances it as expected. Because it's the only plot, things seem to drag out a tad and giving the brother something to contend with besides the impending rematch with Tempest would be welcome. Even exploring Tempest a bit more as opposed to just painting him with a supervillain brush would go great lengths to help even things out. Still though, Guardians #2 is unique in its reliance on brotherhood as a narrative device, something which Black does very effectively. When paired with Garcia's illustrations, the book comes together as a pretty solid follow-up to the first issue.
Guardians #2 is available via Comixology now.