Electric Warriors #2 – Steve Orlando, Writer; Travel Foreman, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: One of the most inventive and unexpected comics to come out of DC’s roster in a long time, Steve Orlando and Travel Foreman’s Electric Warriors continue to impress with its second issue. Last time, as the great cosmic games began, we were introduced to a pair of Earth Warriors – human Oscar Navarro, taking his brother’s place secretly; and evolved octopus Kana, sating her lust for knowledge and exploration by serving as the champion of Earth’s beasts. This issue, we start to meet the rest of the competitors, including representatives from Khund and the world of the Dominators. These aren’t main characters, so they don’t get the depth of Ian and Kana, but they’re still entertaining supporting players as the games get underway. While Kana wins her first battle, Ian loses quickly and puts Earth’s food supply into jeopardy in the process. This series does really well with depicting unique battles between different species.
Once the first round ends, with Ian near death, that’s where this issue gets really interesting. Ian and Kana wind up pulled into a resistance, and we learn a lot more about the powerhouses behind this event. There’s been a lot of stories about these death tournaments with high stakes, from Battle Royale to The Hunger Games, but this is the first one that’s embraced the sci-fi nature of the concept and taken it beyond simple human combat. But the issue’s got one last great twist up its sleeve as circumstances conspire to turn Ian and Kana against each other for the domination of life on Earth. Travel Foreman’s art here continues to be the best he’s put out in his long career, with vivid colors and inventive alien creatures. But this wouldn’t work nearly as well if it wasn’t for the attention paid to the two main characters. This comic works as both a tribute to the work of Jack Kirby and a wholly original series and it deserves more fans.
Corrina: The first issue gave us an overview of Oscar and Kana, showing each of their reactions to becoming Electric Warriors. It was an Earthbound view of a much bigger situation.
Electric Warriors #2 does a terrific job of showing the readers what the games are about, the stakes for each of the combatants, and the horrible mess they find themselves in. If they were only fighting battles to the death, that would be bad enough. But it’s more complicated than that, as the other Electric Warriors already know. In that, it’s like Hunger Games, which is as much about the machinations behind the scenes as anything in the games itself.
I also like the fact that Oscar stumbles in his first time in the ring–he was so focused on saving his brother that he seems to have forgotten that becoming the chosen has its own consequences. Kana could condemn him for it, instead she seems to want to help, at least until she uncovers his deceptions.
If all this sounds grim, it might be, except for the wild and colorful art that stands in for the pageantry of it all. This is a visual first and, as Ray said, certainly a tribute to Kirby.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.