Inferior 5 #2 – Jeff Lemire, Writer/Backup Artist; Keith Giffen, Penciller; Michelle Delecki, Inker; Hi-Fi, Jose Villaruba, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Inferior 5 #2, Jeff Lemire and Keith Giffen’s bizarre post-apocalyptic tie-in to a comic from the late 1980s, is still the most original book coming out of DC’s stable at the moment, but the second issue gives us a slightly better idea of what this book is going to be about.
The first issue was an odd mix of horror elements, teen adventure, and a backup involving the obscure DC antihero Peacemaker. Now we see how they come together, as the three main characters – new arrival Justin, sarcastic and pint-sized Lisa, and odd-speaking Helen – find themselves under attack from a mysterious Apokaliptan-looking insect-beast. That creature is not what it appears to be, though – it holds the consciousness of the evil Billy Shanker, the hooded boy who speaks in nursery rhymes and hunts down escapees from the town with maximum prejudice. And more interestingly – he has a sister in the custody of the people pulling his strings.
This seems like a conspiracy thriller more than anything, as the three kids – with two more lurking on the fringes of the town and not exactly aligned with the heroes yet. There’s an interesting reveal about Helen – if the character reminded of you of some popular redheads from DC animation, there may be a reason for that – and some great, creepy moments involving the hooded Billy.
The story is still pretty vague, with only brief hints of the larger plot so far, but that’s pretty common for a Lemire long-form story. He lets the creepy mood settle in before the plot really starts going. That’s definitely the same for the backup drawn by Lemire, as he continues his dive into the psyche of the enigmatic Peacemaker. This story of a retired superhero/secret agent grappling with PTSD reminded me a lot of his work with Moon Knight, in that you’re never sure what is and isn’t real. It’s a fascinating ride unlike anything else at DC right now.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.