"The Second Stage Turbine Blade: Part II"
Writer: Claudio Sanchez
Artists: Gus Vazquez, Rex Justice (colors)
Publisher: Image Comics
HOLY SH-wait, that's probably not the most professional of opening comments. Umm...yeah...well, let's just say that the proverbial stuff just hit the fan. The Amory Wars just went from good to insanely genius with this issue.
Part two of "The Second Stage Turbine Blade" picks up with the aftermath of the decisions made in the previous issue. The twins, Matthew and Maria are dead, and now Coheed and Cambria have to kill their last two children, or cause the destruction of the Keywork. Jospehine tries to recover from her rape, Claudio realizes he's past curfew, and Detinwolf plots. Oh, and the Prise visit Mariah. Sounds confusing, right? Thankfully, it isn't, as Claudio Sanchez manages to work in dozens of epic concepts into a story that is essentially grounded in a family relationship.
As with the last issue, I cannot help but compare it to its counterpart in the previous incarnation of the series, "The Second Stage Turbine Blade." The plot is the same, and the scenes overlap perfectly. Yet, this time around, Sanchez makes everything flow smoother. The only scene that does not really surpass the previous version is Josephine's death by hammer. Still, aside from that, the issue is tighter and better for it. The foreshadowing and subplots are stronger this time, especially the Prise's visit to Mariah.
Yet the highlight of the issue is Coheed's fight with the Red Army. Detinwolf is at his worst, and his goading of Coheed just builds the tension until the first blade is drawn. It's brutal, fast and sets the rest of the series in motion. Detinwolf's plan is further hinted upon, and his robotic evilness is at its peak. Sanchez wrote a tense, well executed dramatic scene.
Guy Vazquez's art still is a mixed bag for me. While I'm not digging the cartoony aspects of his style, his art in this issue is an improvement from the debut issue. The aforementioned fight scene was the artistic highlight of the book, and it's clear that Vazquez's strength is action scenes. The fight flowed, and the last blow to Coheed's head definitely conveyed a lot of pain. The closing scene was certainly creepy, and Vazquez captures the horror wonderfully.
The Amory Wars continues to be one of the most unique, innovative comics out there. Each issue makes you stop and say "Woah, did that just happen?" After this issue, I'm even more excited for what's to come, and the next issue certainly looks like it's going to be crazy.
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