Writer: Matt Kindt
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Review by PeteR
Welcome to the Deadside, one of the many nether realms and outer dimensions. Its diverse inhabitants include souls of the departed, visitors from other realms, and even the living. For some the Deadside itself is the afterlife-their final destination in the hereafter-while for others, it is merely a stop on the way to their final reward. To a few, it is a source of mystical power.
One of the things I appreciate about Valiant Comics is their ability to take something you know and turn it on its head. For instance, The Tower of Babel. You remember the story (Genesis 11:1-9). The people started building a tower that was going to reach Heaven. Genesis 11:6 “The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language, they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” So God made each of them speak a different language and destroyed the tower.
What if Babel wasn’t an edifice but, an actual person? Someone who’s lust for power compels him to keep trying to build the tower to break through to an existence he shouldn’t dare go with ill intent. “We will tear a hole in the Heavens and we will storm its gates!”
Rapture the series has Babel, a necromancer of sorts, who has been held captive in the Deadside for millennia. Now he is loose and actively attempting to finish his nefarious plan. Tama, a Geomancer from the future has been dispatched by Gilad, the Eternal Warrior to save the future using the Book of the Geomancer. She enlists super spy Ninjak, voodoo priestess Punk Mambo and a recovering Shadowman/Magpie.
In Rapture #2 our four heroes venture forward to stop Babel. Being the Deadside, everything in the realm they encounter is deadly. There are also Babel’s enforcers who can kill just by issuing a sound.
Matt Kindt’s plot is intriguing but what makes it really enjoyable for me are the interactions between the characters of Rapture #2. Tama, being a Necromancer and a teenager besides, is optimistic and is saddened by the death of anything. Ninjak is a stone killer with his mind firmly rooted in the practical. Abstracts and magic aren’t his thing. Fighting alongside him is Punk Mambo for who abstracts and magic are definitely in her wheelhouse. Finally there is Shadowman, or as he was called while bound by the evil necromancer Master Darque, Magpie. He is the true wildcard in this story. Since he is still recovering from his time with Master Darque, Shadowman/Magpie’s sense of right and wrong are skewed. He is broken inside and trying desperately to control his Loa. He has been to the Deadside before and is not at all pleased to be back.
Cafu’s art continues to be compelling. The really cool artistic moment for this issue though starts on page 7 of Rapture #2. Cafu’s art is interrupted for five pages by fellow artist Roberto De La Torre, relating Rex the Razer and Babel’s experiences. The transition from Cafu’s clean, slick style lurching into a John Buscema, Savage Sword of Conan art technique is as dramatic as any segue between two scenes in a Brian DePalma film.
Andrew Dalhouse’s coloring for that section continues to evoke the Conan magazine vibe. He uses a pallet consisting mostly of browns and grey. It provides a black and white feel while providing a subtle undertone of color. The colors for the rest of the issue are so bright and distinct, you could think they had been painted by the Hildebrandt Brothers. Letterer Dave Sharpe, is able to shine by providing Rapture #2 with different languages that seems unworldly but are accessible to the readers.
Why you should buy this book? So far, Rapture #2 has been a twisty road of strained allegiances and perilous moments. The stakes in this series are high and there is no guarantee, based on the characters’ skill sets that they will succeed. Rapture #2 keeps the excitement and uncertainly forefront as series continues to unfold.
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