Or, â€œNo, really, remind me who Steve Rogers is?â€
Well, hot off the news that American Dream #1 has sold out I get to review the second issue, and number two is keeping me as thrilled as number one did! This is how comics used to be, and I really wish that Marvel would bring back the MC2 Universe in a more regular way. Sure, the Spider-Girl series is good, but there is so much more MC2 love out there to discover!
Letâ€™s get right to the review. When last we saw American Dream, she was unconscious after a battle with the mysterious crystal creature. This issue begins with American Dream in the infirmary of the Avengers headquarters, surrounded by her friends and teammates, and Jarvis! Yep, same Jarvis as we have in current continuity. Her teammates are rather upset that she did not call them in to help, and Dream tells them that she told the cops to, but they must have forgotten in the excitement. While the team is discussing what should be done next, they are â€œsummonedâ€ to another area of the building. There, Agent Maria Hill of the National Security Force (they men in black who scare the other men in blackâ€, tells them to lay off. It seems that American Dream has gotten involved in an ongoing government investigation, and is now being told to keep her nose out of it, or else.
The appearance of Maria Hill is a great little treat for readers of the 616 Marvel Universe, MC2 is in the 982 universe, and it is one of the many little things that make this series so entertaining. Here is another: a whole page to bring you up to date, much like the ones that used to chow up back in the late nineties. And since this issue sold out, it gives readers who missed the first issue less of an excuse to pick this issue up. Of course, if you read my review of issue one, you knew that this was going to be a sleeper hit. Well guess what? I am pretty sure that this issue is going to sell out as well. I wonâ€™t stake money on it, but I wonâ€™t pass up this issue on the stands either.
This issue continues to build on the plots and sub-plots which where introduced last issue, and adds a few new wrinkles. Shannon wonders more about the problems she has with her boyfriend Kevin Masterson. It seems she thinks of him mainly as Thunderstrike and has a problem connecting with him in their civilian identities. Instead of trying to meet his friends, she throws herself into her work. We also get another installment in the retelling of American Dreams origin, including information about who her mother was, or wasnâ€™t.
Remember the kidnapping sub-plot from last issue? Well, DeFalco is following up on it as we see Shannon Carter, in her civilian identity, investigating it and touching on a real world issue at the same time. And Red Queen and Ion Man continue to make plans, which I personally found rather funny. Itâ€™s nice to read about a hero whose enemies have NO IDEA who they really are! The issue starts to wrap up as we get several sub-plots beginning to tie-in together and form an intricate plot that rivals anything in the standard Marvel Universe.
As I discussed with DeFalcoâ€™s writing, it still is on target here. Besides the solid storytelling, there are some great one-liners, â€œHey! Itâ€™s Captain Amerigirl!â€ That line alone tells your how Shannon, despite her high-profile as Avengers leader, is still living up to the legacy of Captain America. Again, this is another classic example of good writing, as DeFalco starts to weave the various sub-plots into a larger challenge for American Dream.
What is Agent Hill really trying to cover-up? Why are illegal immigrants disappearing all over the city? Who are the para-military men with possible government ties and what is their connection to the crystal men? Yeah, plural, men; the enemy that defeated Dream last issue comes back in this issue with a friend. All that, and we still have time to touch on Shannonâ€™s personal sub-plots as well.
As with last issue, Todd Nauck hits it out of the park with great art. He and Scott Koblish make a great team, and Iâ€™ll be searching out their work more now. Avalon Studioâ€™s Rob Roâ€™s colors give this issue a vibrant POP that just is so refreshing. So many comics today use muted colors, and these are so bright, itâ€™s hard to describe. I wish we could post some pics, because there is one that just shows how the art team melds together so perfectly. When you get your issue, check out the first panel on page 16, it is classic.
This time around I am giving the second issue the same as the first, 3.5 out of 5 stars. If you enjoyed the first issue, this one wonâ€™t disappoint. Itâ€™s a great example of what comics should be: entertaining. Donâ€™t wait for the trade, get this each month and you wonâ€™t be sorry.