With the first issue of “The Saviors,” James Robinson and J. Bone introduced a lot of mystery and excitement as Tomas found himself in a world turned upside down, populated with shapeshifting lizard aliens who would kill to preserve their secrets. “The Saviors” #2 not only continues that trend, it also provides some explanations and gets the bigger plot rolling forward.
It’s much to both Robinson and Bone’s credit on how well they handle an opening sequence where the only line of dialogue (“Get in.”) doesn’t appear until halfway through page 8. It doesn’t need anything else; no rambling narration, no pleas for help. Instead it’s just a scramble to survive, helped by the arrival of some unexpected assistance. Bone keeps the viewpoint throughout “The Saviors” close and tight on the action; it makes it feel almost claustrophobic as Tomas scrambles through the rocks, trying to escape the alien.
It’s Nate’s, “Get in,” moment that really steals the show visually, though. First, it’s a great portrait of the character as he sits in his convertible; his square-jawed profile looks utterly blase at the entire sequence of events, and in doing so it instantly identifies him as someone who knows what’s going on. It’s the beautiful gray wash behind him, though, with the carefully drawn twinkling stars that sells it, though. It reminds me of classic animation backgrounds (especially “A Charlie Brown Christmas”), with a retro feel that can’t help but charm.
As much as I like Bone’s characters here — Tomas running through the desert is wonderful with his lanky form almost loping away from the scene — there’s a lot to be said for Bone’s backgrounds. The final panel of the issue, as we descend into a coastal city in Mexico, is just breathtaking. The details on the brick walls, the bell towers overlooking the ocean, the spread of mission-style homes — it makes you want to be there with the characters, even if they’re in danger. (It also will probably make you worry about what’s going to happen to that beautiful, picturesque town by the time the aliens are done pursuing our heroes.)
Robinson’s story shouldn’t be forgotten here, because it moves along well. We get a lot of exposition, and while the story does come to a bit of a halt at that point, it’s a necessary evil. We’re given enough of the setup to move forward, but at the same time there are still lots of big question marks that will need to be filled in later. For a suspense thriller sort of story, I feel like we’re getting doled out just the right amount of information.
“The Saviors” #2 is a fun second installment, and enough to seal the desire to stick around to see what happens next. This is a fun story and a good looking book to boot. With the exposition out of the way for now, the next issue should be able to move at a faster clip. Consider me sold.