Heart Attack #2
As their combined powers begin to grow, Jill and Charlie also begin to get to know each other. However, Charlie has more secrets than his withdrawn and quiet nature would indicate. What will happen to our protagonists in this politically charged second issue of Heart Attack?
The second issue of Heart Attack picks up directly where the first issue left off: with Jill and Charlie escaping law enforcement, due to their variations sparking when they touch. When the two of them hide together in a Freebody safehouse, we begin to learn more about Jill and what is important to her. This results in some fantastic dialogue about morality and setting a good example for children who struggle with being different.
Unfortunately, with time, we also learn more about Charlie, who is helping the anti-variant law enforcement officials trap and arrested activists fighting for variant rights. This brings up questions of community, identity, and loyalty that cannot truly be satisfactorily answered in real life, let alone in the pages of a comic book. Yet the fact that Heart Attack is willing to go there, and imply these questions speaks very well to the praxis of the book overall.
The art continues to impress. Curly hair is difficult at the best of times, but Zawadski draws it with skill. I am still in awe of the consistent detail on Jill’s incredibly complex lace dress. Garland’s colors also pop, giving the book an overall very dynamic and modern look. The overall style is unique, but gives me vibes not dissimilar to The Wicked + The Divine, one of my favorite comic book series.
Finally, I can say something I pretty much never say for any comic book series: I love the in-universe media excerpts in the back. Nine times out of ten, such attempts at incorporating news and new media into comic books falls flat, because it isn’t relatable to what is going on in the world or how people actually engage with media. Not true of Heart Attack, which uses guerilla and official reporting, as well as Wikipedia-style inserts, to explain what is going on behind the scenes of this well fleshed out world.
In a world where many other comics are afraid to get too political, Heart Attack #2 (Kittelsen, Zawadzki, Garland, Brousseau) is a series for our times.
Heart Attack #2: The Comic Politic
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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