The Red Spike serum has a good side to it and a bad side to it. The good side is that it gives solders amazing super-powers that allow them to follow secret government missions. The bad side is that it can drive people to madness and to murder. As our protagonist Greg awakens from surgery due to the traumatic events of last issue, his memories begin to haunt him –- and who knows what kinds of horrors that will bring?
Meanwhile, the people behind the Red Spike program are battling each other in Machiavellian ways, seeming not to care about the impact of their actions on the men their command. A triumph in bureaucratic battles is the most important thing to them; never mind the consequences.
After the all-out action of Red Spike #1, this second issue quiets down for a bit of psychological drama. It’s fascinating to see Greg be manipulated and forced to do things that he doesn’t want to do, while his mind seems to be fighting that manipulation in an attempt to keep him really, truly free.
We see the cracks in Greg’s irregular treatment of his girlfriend, Maggie. His moods seem to shift in a heartbeat as the two talk during a workout in a gym. He alternates between love, jealousy and anger – none of which are justified in any way based on Maggie’s actions.
That moodiness contrasts with the romance that the pair shared in the past. In a cute sequence we see Greg try every day to court the girl of his dreams, bringing her flowers every day in an attempt to gain her heart. It’s a charming scene, made all the more so because we know how Greg’s emotions grow out of control in the modern day.
Cahn and Navarro do a nice job tamping down the action of this comic after the all-out action of issue #1. Navarro has a nice sense for the realism of ordinary people, while Cahn does a nice and subtle job of bringing out his characters’ complex emotions.
This is an entertaining comic that I really enjoyed a lot. It’s a slower issue, but that slowness adds rather than detracts from the story.