(W) W. Maxwell Prince (A) Martin Morazzo and Chris O’Halloran (L) Good Old Neon
The Ice Cream Man is back after its successful kickoff last month. Issue #2 shows more of his sinister side while he manipulates two different narratives. The main story is told through the inner monologue of an addict, Karen, who wants to save her boyfriend, Jim, from the withdrawals of a serious overdose. Meanwhile down the road, we have Phil who also enjoys an opioid vice, but his usage is actually legal.
It’s hard not to give Karen sympathy when she constantly feels remorse of doing “bad things for a good thing.” She just wants is to remember the good times together and to save Jim, even if her plan of execution is counterproductive. Here we have an illiterate addict with low self-esteem trying to find a way out with clouded judgment. Who else to exploit this naive, pitiful woman besides everyone’s favorite Ice Cream Man?
The Ice Cream Man plays the role of fate for characters in the middle of their own dilemmas. His presence feels like a persuading entity that pulls people into his personal agenda of malice while they think they’re still in control of their own lives. He’s there when people need him, or rather, feel like they need of something while in a susceptible situation.
Readers get a better look at the antagonist’s real personality behind the flavorful facade of the neighborhood Ice Cream Man. During the first issue, “Raspberry Surprise,” readers knew he was strange and up to no good. His moral role was definitely less ambiguous here in “Rainbow Sprinkles.” The powers of the Ice Cream Man may be supernatural, but his manipulating persuasion methods are all too real.
W. Maxwell Prince does a great job making sure we invest into each character by giving them all distinct personalities and redeeming qualities even for those that seem they deserve no sympathy. The powerful use of timing is most important when the two narratives overlap.
In issue #1, the narrator quoted, “There’s a flavor for everyone’s suffering.” This quote catches the overview of the series perfectly. Each issue gets a different title representing a delicious flavor of ice cream, while also playfully contradicting the dark subject matter. Every issue is a one-shot of different people with different issues, except for one common denominator: the Ice Cream Man.