Yes, it's time for another look at a comic that's coming out tomorrow. That's always fun, right?
Sparks #2 comes out tomorrow, and as I received a preview of issue #1 and reviewed it, I figured I ought to do the same for #2, right? I mean, that's always fun!
I enjoyed the first issue, and this issue continues the interesting story Folino set up in issue #1. When last we left things, our hero Sparks and his lady friend were trapped in a warehouse and bad things were about to happen. We get a hint about the bad things that happened - there's rape and murder - and Sparks gets blamed for allowing it to occur, as he blacked out during the events in question. In the present, he's confessing to a newspaperman, who wants him to admit to the murders, but Sparks just repeats that he blacked out. Of course, this means his reputation is in tatters, and he can't regain it. Sparks continues his tale and says he no longer cared about being a noble hero, and when his enemies came for him, he dispatched them with extreme prejudice. But that didn't fill the hole in his soul!!!! When the book ends, Sparks has taken his depression about as far as it can go, and although we know that the final page doesn't mean much because of what's happening in the present, it's a measure of how far he's fallen.
Meanwhile, in the present, Sparks and those to whom he's confessing are in danger, as someone enters the offices where he's telling his story and begins killing his (her?) way toward Sparks. They escape to the roof, but are still in danger. That can't be good. Folino does a good job going back and forth from the past to the present, although I wonder if Sparks would really continue his story after he gets onto the roof and is waiting for the bad guy to come and get him.
It's a nice second issue, as we don't learn too much more about Sparks himself, but the story moves along at a nice clip. Folino, as he did in issue #1, doesn't overdo the writing, and even though he rips off Terminator 2 at one point, at least it's in context. It's kind of refreshing to read a comic where the writer doesn't feel the need to be verbose. Folino allows the atmosphere to overwhelm us, and like the first issue, JM Ringuet does a marvelous job with the art. It's extremely moody and rainy, but it fits the tone of the book, and Ringuet does a great job with the time period (the late 1940s) and the way Sparks experiences the horrific events that occur at the beginning of the book. Folino obviously trusts Ringuet to bring his story to life, and Ringuet is completely up to the task.
As I did with issue #1, I encourage you to give this book a chance. Yes, it's a superhero book, and it might seem like just another "grim-and-gritty" comic, but it's a fascinating look at a man who fell apart, it's a murder mystery, and it looks great. Give it a try! There will probably be a copy at your comic book shoppe! And, as always, you can check out a few pages of issue #2 at Catastrophic Comics' web site.