Writer: Darren Pearce
Artist: Stuart Jennett
Publisher: Aliena Apple Studios

Small press books have a freedom to express new ideas, to try new styles, to push the envelope.  With Elena #2 from Aliena Apple Studios , creators Darren Pearce and Stuart Jennett forego trailblazing, opting for a more standard story than you may expect.

Issue 2 starts with the ramifications of the last issue coming around with Elena disobeying orders in her search for love interest and fellow agent Alex.  During her search we get a flashback which helps to show that something sinister has been in play for quite some time.  How this impacts on the present day will no doubt be revealed in later issues. Further flashbacks also help accentuate the relationship between Elena and Alex.

Written by both Darren Pearce and Stuart Jennett, the book is a solid example of a spy/secret organisation type of book.  All the characters and tropes you expect to see are there including the know-it-all boss and a secret past.  This doesn’t necessarily make this a bad book.  It does mean that the pair have to be on top of their respective games for the book to gain traction in an overcrowded comic book shop rack or online store.  The dialogue is solid for the most part, although, there is a lot of exposition to get through towards the end of the issue.

Stuart Jennett is pulling double duty as he also supplies the art, which for the most part does the job with a mix of dynamic poses set against close up panels.  With Jennett credited as artwork, I am assuming that includes the colors, which are great, especially in the confrontation scenes.  What doesn’t work quite so well is the panel structure, which for me looks cluttered, matching the exposition problems albeit in a visual manner.

The book is a solid collection of various influences, which may either make you roll your eyes or be enjoyable.  If spy girls with a mysterious past and a purple haircut are your bag, go check it out.

You can purchase a copy here

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