reflection

Recount #2 channels today's political outrage in a way that feels extremely close to home.
Writing
Pencils/Inking
Colors
Lettering

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Review: RECOUNT #2: The Routine Challenge Of Electoral College Outrage

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Recount #2 is a socially relevant political thriller, releasing on February 17, from Scout Comics. Writer Jonathan Hedrick examines the fallout of an election where people try to steal away control. The art, by Gabriel Ibarra-Nunez, brings a strong sense of kinetic scale in the series’ threats. The coloring by Sunil Ghagre enhances these threats with shading as these threats thrive in the shadows. Finally, the lettering by Cristian Docolomansky gives impact to every action, no matter how small.

Background

Recount follows a post-election/presidential assassination story about the United States, as they’re gearing up to enter a civil war. After a militia kills the president elect, his vice president Meredith McDearmon comes into power to try and get some control. Unfortunately, when the changes in militia encourages regular people to attack supporters of the late president; what control is left?

Recount #2 For The Times

Recount #2 and the series as a whole releases at a time when political tensions continue. With voter suppression and conspiracies running rampant after the 2020 elections, nobody knows who to trust. Politicians will always promise to make the country better, but they often don’t have the power to. These more often turn out to be lies to appease the public.

Within the series, Hedrick makes it plain as day that the lies these politicians tell their supporters make them like a cult. Meredith finds that her late boss made deals that turned people against their loved ones, with no hope of turning their lives around. To the militia, as well as the public attacking electoral college members, this is enabling corruption. Even then, retaliation is just more cult behavior akin to the Capitol riot. It’s all rather scary how much this issue seems closer to life and keeps the reader guessing at what happens next.

Art Of Guerrillas

Recount #2 features the art of Ibarra-Nunez making gritty shading as well as small but powerful movements. In the six and nine panel grid pages, there is a sense of control only for it all to fall apart. A 6-panel conversation between Meredith and Secret Service Agent Barto has Barto taking command of the situation by deconstructing Meredith’s defensive attitude. Barto exerts a constant in control posture, unlike Meredith who relaxes in each panel appearance. Compare this to the 9-panels where in three instances, electoral college members are killed while going about their day. Somebody needs to be in charge, and fast.

The coloring by Ghagre is utilized for dramatic effect. A number of panels in pages that happen in broad daylight have blank backgrounds. These reflect the angry civilians who are going out killing the electoral college. After building up their rage, the actions that take place are plain as day; nothing else matters to them but those moments.

It’s all contrasted against dark rooms where the influence of assassination militia reaches the most. When Meredith and Barto meet with an electoral college member, the only light comes from a desk lamp. In this area, the man feels the weight of all his actions as he reflects over everything. The light from the doorway Meredith and Barto came from might’ve been a way out, but the militia’s influence lingers on.

Impactful Lettering

The lettering by Docolomansky is often an extension of what’s occurring in the moment. When Meredith is trying to steer a car, while she and Barto are being shot at, the cussing in different font feels heavy with the lack of control. Of course each SFX can say just as much about a lack of control. Unlike when people speak in regular word balloons, a hand drawn scream brings about a feeling of chaos. Seeing somebody get shot and the gunshot hitting somebody certainly can do that. Compare that to the SFX made from a computer, these are extensions of mechanical devices like a car or doorbell. Their functions are simple and don’t interfere with anything, they are more easily controlled.

Demand Recount #2 For Some Control

Recount #2 is shaping up a very relevant political thriller. By channeling today’s political outrage into a speculative field, the comic delves into a need for order. It’s a feeling that’s all the more powerful thanks to how the art presents it. Panels and colors shift in response to the threat of a militia ready to throw everything into chaos.


What do you all think? Is this series worth continuing for its own sake? Or is it getting so much like the real world that it’s uncomfortable?

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Jake Palermohttps://gutternaut.net/
Greeting panel readers, My name is Jake but I never replace anyone or anything; I merely follow and fill in the gaps. I write stories and articles that help people piece together anything that helps them understand subjects like culture, the people who write their favorite stories, and how it affects other people.