REVIEW: Justice Inc. The Avenger #2

Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Ronilson Freire
Cover: Francesco Francavilla
Publication Date: July 01, 2015
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment

Issue 2 of the Dynamite pulp series, sees The Avenger on the trail of an invisible man.  As you’d expect, it’s pretty hard to catch up with someone you can’t see and the villain manages to escape.  This, however gives us a chance to see more of The Avenger’s support team as they work to solve the crimes.

This book is a throw back to the pulp series of yesteryear, being similar in tone and setup to both The Shadow, and predominately Doc Savage.  All three have a network of cohorts,  all three have powers.  At this point, the Doc Savage elements are the strongest, with both characters having more physical attributes than The Shadow.  In this case, The Avenger has the ability to mould his face.

Written by comics veteran and fan favourite Mark Waid, the script goes someway to identify all the cast.  Yes it can seem a little wordy at times, but this exposition is required especially as this character may not be familiar to a large part of the comic reading audience. With all the comic books Waid has written, it was a little surprising to find some of the dialogue to be a tad stagnant.  This, in my opinion, is more to do with the genre, which in my experience has always needed more set up than the more familiar super hero books,  rather than an indictment of Waid’s talent.

Art is by Ronilson Freire who also manages to capture the feel of the pulp genre, with some great layouts and transition panels.  The character, as part of his powers, is facially paralysed and Freire seems aware of this and plays to it, with the possible result being the over emphasis on the remaining cast members.

I have a soft spot for pulp books, I have read a number of different Shadow books from DC Comics, to Dark Horse and finally to Dynamite.  As such I want to like this book.  Somehow, I am kind of left frustrated.  I have enjoyed Waid’s work on any number of books and I can see the talent on show on the pages, I just have no strong feelings about the titular hero.  This is definitely no fault of those involved, as I am sure that fans of the character will enjoy the book, I am unfortunately not one of them.

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