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Monday, July 11, 2016

Alien Hand Syndrome 2. Justin Capello (Writer & Art) Insane Comics (2016)

An enjoyable and engaging second issue that pushes the story forward very nicely. Jet who broke into the facility was wounded by the super-soldier Twelback and is in a bad way. Twelback is annoyed and intrigued by the break-in and the action and he talks about the situation with two other visitors. Jet, Wheelie and Dr. Polaski fee in their flying Plymouth and Jet has a flashback to the start of their involvement with aliens. This issue has to solve the problem of providing a lot of information (not too much however) to the reader without losing the momentum of the story and it manages this very well.
Justin Cappello solves the problem of talking heads in a comic at the facility by having interesting talking heads and putting some bite into the conversation between the three. The action sequence where the final stages of the break-in are detailed by Twelback are very well done, the figures are a little stiff but the energy is present and the action has clear physical weight and impact on the cast. The very far from heroic previous lives of Jet and Wheelie are nicely caught as the frustration with their lives and limited circumstances start to press on them. A unexpected encounter on a dark forest road clearly marks the start of a new direction in their lives.
A enjoyable part of the story is the way that Justin Cappello hoards the information, clearly there are extensive back stories to to the cast that get alluded to without drowning the reader in information. The story possibilities are very well set up and create multiple possibilities for the future direction of the story.
The black and white art is lovely and a pleasure to read, the cast are distinctive and very expressive, the faces and body language are very strong. The background details are impressive, the problem is that they two do not fully integrate with each other, the cast can look as though they are resting on the background context rather than in it. Personally I find white lettering on a black background to be a bit hard to read, I have to pay more attention to it than I want and it can pull me a little out of the story.
Minor quibbles aside this is greatly enjoyable, thoughtful science fiction that balances action with character development and sets up story possibilities that engage the reader. There is a nice big story here that Justin Cappello is confidently delivering.
Chief Wizard Note: This is a review copy very kindly sent by Justin Cappello. Alien Hand Syndrome will be available from http://www.insanecomics.com/the-insane-comics--store.html at the start of August. You should pick up a copy, good science fiction comics are clinically proven to increase happiness and contentment.

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