Top Cow Productions/Image Comics 2016
Created & Written by Zack Kaplan
Illustrated by Giovanni Timpano
Coloured by Chris Northrop
Lettered by Troy Peteri
In a world where sunlight kills, solar engineer David "Bax" Baxter and police detective James Everly hunt for a mysterious butcher who doesn't burn, but their investigation into the post-apocalyptic wasteland raises more questions than answers.
Wow the first issue was a great setup for the series and this issue just takes that and goes on to the next level. It’s amazing to see how Zack can capture these moments and bring them to us with such an impact. I do like that we open up with how Bax first meets the Mayor, after last issue when he asked him personally to take people out in search of his missing daughter and it was obvious they knew each other. So that bit of backstory that’s wrapped up nice and neat like it is goes a long way in continuing to flesh out the bigger picture.
There’s a lot of great characterisation going on here from Bax taking the Mayor’s daughter home to talking the Mayor himself. I like the background information that we are getting involving these characters. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that the Mayor feels like Bax is easily manipulated and his story to him and their relationship since the day the sun flared but it’s more complex than that. There’s an underlying respect and threat happening here and it’s just so well represented when these two men talk. I’m totally in awe of the subtext that I think Zack puts in here.
Speaking of we meet a new person this issue, Val, who also seems to have some sort of past with Bax. You could almost feel the chill coming off that conversation and not just because she’s a scientist or doctor. This is the best kind of story I mean it’s got all this drama going on with the characters and then there’s this man who can withstand exposure to the sun, the only one?, who’s bent on wreaking havoc with what appears to be a personal vendetta. There’s the whole science fiction disaster movie quality going on here and it’s just fascinating.
Giovanni and Chris really do wonders with bringing this to life. The way the underneath is presented with the artificial lighting compared to the stronger sun on the surface is amazingly represented. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds not only control the flow of the story but flesh it out more fully. The crisp clean line work and attention to detail here is amazing. They really do such a great job selling the concept behind the story here.
Bax gets to see this man up close and personal this issue and well it’s safe to say he’s gone looney tunes. He’s like an albino with no pigmentation to burn up and his time on the surface without succumbing to what everyone else does has done a number on his mind. The way this is represented here is incredibly strong.
This is one of those extremely well done series from concept to execution that continues to grow and surprise with each reading. Complex and interesting it’s the kind of story that could be adapted to either the large or small screen.