Eric's Image Comics Review: XENOHOLICS #2
Published: November 16, 2011 - 5:19am
While there's still some work to go on this title, the second issue mostly delivers on the promise of the initial premise. Less forced comedy and more plot/mystery make for a much better product for those who believe.
Xenoholics' sophomore effort is actually worlds better than its debut. Much of this assessment is because of writer Joshua Williamson's focus on plot over comedy. The concept of a group of alien abductees gathering to share their individual experiences AA style is interesting alone, but add in a grand conspiracy and there's something to which one must pay attention. Unlike the first issue, this edition capitalizes upon this premise with a certain degree of skill. A renewed focus on story means that readers get a more in depth view of this fictional world, yet are enthralled by the mystery surrounding aliens, government involvement, and whether the cast of characters are just crazy. It's not the richest book out there just yet, but it is indeed lively, engaging, and (most of all) fun. Much of the adolescent cursing and depression inducing character profiles are gone from this book. On the latter point, the personae that readers will fine are much more relateable, viable, and useful this time around. One might have a superpower, while another displays an active (yet decidedly weird) sex life. The investigative reporter actually investigates. With this, idiosyncrasy triumphs over pity.
While there have been many improvements, there are still a few annoyances. Some of the comedy is cringe-worthy and there are characters that have yet to fully catch on (Usually it's the ones written with the bad jokes.). This is written, however, with more hope than dismay. If so much improvement can be found within one issue, one can only imagine how much good a third issue can do.
As the protagonists delve deeper into the world of The Weekly World News, artist Seth Damoose is allowed to go bigger while keeping his distinct Calvin and Hobbes-esque style. Sci-fi nuts will be enticed by several visual references to all kinds of visual references to films, TV shows, etc. in a way that benefits the narrative. In this way, there's a type of contrast between the main characters that may have actually experienced extraterrestrials first hand and a sea of posers. The humor is quite a bit better with the imagery as well especially with the bloody (the life fluid, not the English interjection), yet hilarious last page. Paul Little's colors add quite a bit to the whole thing as well with an almost neon palette.
Story: Joshua Williamson
Art: Seth Damoose & Paul Little
Cover: Dan Duncan
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