My first impression of “Grim Leaper” #2 is that this comic is a cross between “Quantum Leap” and “Resurrection Man” with dashes of “Creepy,” Deadman and Hawkman (the Geoff Johns reincarnation-powered version) thrown in for good measure. My first impression, while not baseless, was simply that: a first impression. The story itself features Lou Collins, a disembodied spirit set to inhabit the bodies of people near their death event.
Aluisio C. Santos’ art has a cartoony feel that flies in the face of the grotesquely gory visuals of people being dismembered in spectacular bloody fashion. Santos’ approach feeds the black humor of the moments when Lou Collins’ host bodies meet their respective demises. Each of the bodies Collins inhabits in this issue meet exceptionally bloody ends which Santos depicts in an almost comedic — yet still disgusting — manner. The art is heavy on the details of the story, sometimes those details in conjunction with the manga-esque lightning-bolt swirls around the characters simply feels cluttered and almost becomes too much to look at.
Thankfully, the story is brusquely paced, encouraging a quicker read and allowing the reader to come back later to study those details. Kurtis Wiebe has crafted a story that is centered around a mystical concept, but has a love story threading through it. The mystical mystery and love story, combined with Collins’ having to quickly suss out his situation time and again makes for a fast-paced read. It’s not the most compelling story that I’ve read this week, but I am curious to see where it goes from here and how this finite tale wraps.
The backup tale, written by CBR reviewer Ryan K. Lindsay and drawn by Daniel J. Logan, seemingly has no connection to the lead story with Collins’ quest, but that could be subject to change. Lindsay’s five-page story is mostly a first-person observation of the evolution of one man’s loss of love and decision to seek revenge. Logan’s art is competent with some strong compositions and is nowhere near as gory as the lead tale, but could use a bit more polish. Lindsay’s plot is creepy and disgusting and I’m morbidly curious to see if it is furthered along, although I’m certain further developments will be just as gross.
In the middle of the series, “Grim Leaper” #2 is a story that’s not for the squeamish. This comic hits some older concepts and ideas, but twists those notions just enough to present a story that seems fresh with characters that may not be growing towards being interesting, but their situation certainly is. I’m curious to see where this title goes and what eventually comes of Lou and Ella.