Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #2 Reaction

Silk Spectre #2
I was completely blown away by Amanda Conner in Silk Spectre #1 so I breathlessly anticipated the second  issue (the seventh Before Watchmen book).

Of course, Ms. Connor didn't disappoint me! Her art, as always, is simply fantastic. Once again, on the cover her uniform's black space is used as a looking-glass, blending in the with the colors of the cover and showcasing the villains from the issue. Connor uses some of the same "Inside Silk Spectre's Head" panels this time but they are much less cartoony. In one sequence, Silk Spectre is put into the same pose in two adjacent panels to show the passage of time - the scenery changes around her. In the first panel, she's pulling on a boot. In the second, she's climbing through a window. It's a neat trick and shows the innovation Conner brings to her work.

The first have of the story is "narrated" by a letter to "Uncle Hollis." This is the better part of the story as the pictures often reveal much more than Laurie's words such as when she says, "It's not all fun and games." Most of the panels in this section don't have actual panel boxes around them to indicated an extended flashback. We're witnessing the origin of the new Silk Spectre.

The villain's motivation is a bit sketchy to say the least. Apparently, those hippies have rejected materialism to the point where they have stopped buying albums. So the plan is to release a drug that will induce teens to buy records. Unfortunately, the drug may have some negative side effects. The Beatles and (I think) Jim Morrison appear for some reason that's kinda unclear. Frankly, the story didn't need the complication of materialism-inducing drugs. Just having a new drug enter the market would have been enough to push the Silk Spectre into action.

In the end, the song lyrics (Peek-A-Boo, I'm Watching You) that are playing at a party blend together with Greg's dialogue (Don't Worry, I'll take good care of...), merging together on the word "You" as the panels fade to white and Laurie succumbs to the same drug that put her friend in a coma.

The Crimson Corsair backup (which actually has the title character in it this time!) really takes a turn toward The Pirates of the Caribbean. We are introduced to a crew of the undead, their cursed captain, a ship called teh Flying Dutchman, and a reference to Davy Jones. It kinda left me scratching my head... why go in this direction when it seems so similar to the Johnny Depp movies? We'll see what develops. 

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