This week I am going to talk about the long awaited Nonplayer #2, by Nate Simpson, published by Image. Though I must preface this review by saying that I read four books this week, Nonplayer, the newest issue of The Autumnlands and Secret Wars 2 and 3. All of these books were amazing and could be talked about. I chose Nonplayer because I have been waiting for this book for years.
As I stated earlier, this book has been long awaited. The first issue was extremely well reviewed and the world was bright, then life happened to the creator and suddenly fans were kept waiting. Thankfully issue 2 was worth the wait. In issue one; we meet 3 characters, Dana Stevens, Queen Fendra and King Heremoth. One player and two NPC’s (nonplayer characters) in a massive online fantasy game, a game that is completely immersive and creates a realistic world for the player to live in. They don’t interact the way they do in the games I know and love though. In this game it seems like the NPC’s have a real life.
This issue builds on that idea. The issue starts with the creator and owner of the game giving an interview, while walking through the word of the game. This interview is great since it explains the type of world our characters are playing in and reveals what kind of world the players are living in.
We also start to find out a bit more about what kind of technology is in the everyday world. A good portion of this book deals with a police agency that regulates, terminates, studies and holds AI lives. This agency is also reviewing the game for its NPC beings. This section of the issue is great. It shows an older veteran, someone not so trusting of technology, deal with a technological problem. This agent, Hanely, is a character I really enjoy. He seems more like an old school beat cop then a regular person in this world and is all around a little more relatable to me since he is not dependent on the tech every around him is using.
The writing for this book is great. The story is awesome and this issue took it to the next level by adding more layers. These players not only started new threads of the story to follow but revealed aspects of other stories. Most notably are the final few pages. These pages focus on King Heremoth and his people, one of which is seer that starts spouting techno babble. I love these pages, the idea of a seer in a video game speaking lines from a user agreement in a medieval setting, is absolutely hilarious. But it’s also effective in adding depth to the story and tying the threads together.
The art is gorgeous. I literally bought the first issue just for the art. The detail and creativity in the work is mind blowing. The color use is excellent, using color to help convey mood and tone. Seriously even if you hate the story, read the book for the art.
6 out of 5… Well worth the wait.