Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday Book Two – Jim Lee

After the first volume you want to know how it all ends don’t you. This book continues and ends the story of Max Faraday. As well as a twisting, turning action-adventure there are some complex issues up for discussion too. Sci-fi, philosophy, theology, ethics, and the nature of free-will are all themes present here. Unfortunately they are obscured by the fact that in order to sell comics you have to pack as many named Wildstorm characters in as possible. Granted this is the end of the world so this does give them a reason to show up but if you aren’t familiar with them then they only serve to detract from the main storyline.

The whole work is bold and the art particularly so. The first two issues are told entirely in landscape format, something virtually unheard of in comics. The format doesn’t add to the storytelling and little use is made of the wider page other than for bigger panels but it does make you sit up and take notice. There are lots of other unusual artistic decisions and plenty of double page spreads that really bring a “widescreen” sensibility to this work. You certainly get the feeling you are experiencing a world shattering event and all the stops have been pulled out. There are a lot of black pages however, possibly where adverts have been removed from the single issues and this becomes quite intrusive.

This is a likable work unfortunately hampered by being part of a shared world that intrudes for commercial reasons not narrative ones. Having said that there is enough to get your teeth into and if you have read the first volume then you will want to see how it all ends. A Thumbs Up.

231/134

Tomorrow: Usagi Yojimbo: Yokai – Stan Sakai

Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday Book One – Jim Lee

Creativity. Innovation. Total Chaos. Opening this book brings forth an explosion of ideas. It unleashes a story that unfolds at breakneck speed with layers of concepts and more characters that you can shake a bucket of sticks at. You have little idea of what is going on and who everybody is but the pace is so frenetic you have no time to stop and care.

Lovable slacker Max Faraday accidentally downloads something from the internet that gives him vast power. Forces infernal, divine, and terrestrial all want a piece of the action. This has a brilliant start but comes to a grinding halt when it must take on-board a bus load of characters from the rest of the Wildstorm Universe. It then picks up at the end with a sweet little love story. It’s like an inverted bell curve of excitement.

The art is positively hyperactive with garish colours, unusual borders, chaotic layouts, strange lettering, and digital effects. It is like watching kid’s cartoons on fast-forward. It is too much but in a spectacular way. There is a lot of talent here but it is overshadowed by the bombastic nature of it all.

This swings wildly between the best and worst aspects of comics but I am curious to read volume two and so it just scrapes in at a Thumbs Up!

230/135

Tomorrow: Divine Right: The Adventures of Max Faraday Book Two – Jim Lee