After a long month of waiting, the science fiction comic Invisible Republic is back on the stands with its second issue. Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko delivered a strong debut and the pressure was on for the follow-up to reach the same potential.
Once more, the storyline is split between past and present. This issue spends most of its time in the past with Maia Reveron and her cousin Arthur. The two are escaping from somewhere known as The Farm, but both have very different ideas about their methods. The issue deals with the fallout of their encounter with a group of soldiers last issue and their attempt to get off of the planet Avalon. In the present, Croger Babb continues to investigate the previously unknown history of Maia Reveron. Unfortunately, there are some people on Avalon that don’t want that secret out.
The biggest strengths of the book are the countless mysteries surrounding the characters and their universe. The book doesn’t spend a lot of time defining Avalon and the structure of the universe. Instead, Bechko and Hardman give only the smallest hints about their world, drawing in the reader through overlapping mysteries. The details of both the world and the storyline are being drip-fed to the readers, making each one feel like an important discovery. The writers masterfully use this technique to craft an irresistible book. I’m not certain how long curiosity will be able to drive the book, but for now it’s working well.
Hardman’s art brings a gritty, dystopian feel to Avalon with an impressive attention to detail. The character designs are especially nice in this issue. Whether the character has a starring role or only appears in one panel, each feels unique and well thought out. The heavily inked panels make excellent use of shadow to convey detail while keeping everything dark and moody. Coupled with Jordan Boyd’s colors, the grim tone of the book is clear and ever present.
Invisible Republic is a mystery, but it’s one that I can’t wait to resolve. The writing is sharp and the art is a gorgeous fit for the series. If you’re not reading this book, you’re doing it wrong.