Shea’s search for her kidnapped brother continues in WRETCHES #2 as she runs into a badly beaten bot that maybe her only chance of finding Sean.
From Wretches to Riches
Wretches #2 may not have the grandiose opening pages as the previous issue, but James E Roche grabs your attention nonetheless. Shifting the focus from the kidnapping of Sean, Roche instead introduces the reader to our new “Shocker Junkie” character, Burr. At first, the sudden shift to a new character comes as a surprise. This is due to it feeling as if Roche has dropped the plot of Shea finding her brother. But, by the end of Wretches #2, Roche develops Burr enough to were you want to know more about him while tying him into the overall scheme.
That’s not to say Roche focuses only on Burr throughout, as we get a quick glimpse of how well it’s going with Sean. But before going back to Burr, he shifts back to who we’ve all been looking for, Shea. Roche writes each character distinctly, with Shea being the most badass as she eats up every scene she is in. The one interaction shown of Shea showcases how she isn’t someone you want to cross, especially when she is on a personal mission. Even on the crime-ridden planet of Manerah, you’d never want to cross her path.
Art Worthy of The Crime
Although the focal point of the story changed, artist Salo Farias keeps the same vigorous energy from the first issue in Wretches #2. The planet our characters visit is labeled as the underbelly of a crime-ridden world. Even if this information was never stated, Farias’ art perfectly portrays this idea. The locations seen throughout Manerah gives off a cluttered and slimy vibe as if things that shouldn’t be spoken of transpires there. The times we are shown what occurs in Manerah, Farias makes sure the art hits all of your senses.
Helping Farias’ art take over your senses is the rough colors by Chunlin Zhao. In this sense, “rough” is for the dirty, gritty, dusty colors Zhao adds to the pages. The colors Zhao employs during some of the exterior shots of Manerah hits you so hard you’ll be tasting the grain. Yet, Zhao doesn’t color everything rustic. By adding in bright or light colors throughout Wretches #2, Zhao adds in colors that complement each other. During a panel that features a darker color palette, Zhao amplifies it with a bright/blank background.
An element that stood out significantly in the previous issue was letterer Chas! Pangburn’s use of varying designs for aliens. This multitude of different word bubbles and narration boxes return in Wretches #2. Pangburn’s fantastic lettering isn’t limited in differing alien lettering, as when a character shows emotion, he makes sure you read it in said tone. Throughout Pangburn uses the issue as a lettering sandbox, which works out magnificently.
Even though Wretches #2 changes its spotlight to a new character (whom we’ll see more of), the one chance we see Shea shows how great of a character she is. That’s not to bring our new character Burr down, as his moments are equally as fun while adding in a fair amount of world-building. Combine that and the fantastic visual elements, and you’re treated to a tremendous follow-up issue.
Cover Story: The standard cover of Wretches #2 is impressive, yet I love the Farias and Marc Sintes variant. The variant mirrors the original to a degree, but the duo pumps up the brutal meter making for one epic cover.
If you got the chance to check out the first and second issues of Wretches, let us know what you think down below.