Or, “No, really, remind me who Steve Rogers is?”

americandream2picon.jpg

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!

americandream2cover.jpgAmerican Dream #2
COVER BY: RON FRENZ
WRITER: TOM DEFALCO
PENCILS: TODD NAUCK
INKS: SCOTT KOBLISH
COLORED BY: AVALON STUDIOS
LETTERED BY: DAVE SHARPE

Let’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 “summoned” 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 black”, 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 won’t stake money on it, but I won’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 wasn’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. It’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 DeFalco’s writing, it still is on target here. Besides the solid storytelling, there are some great one-liners, “Hey! It’s Captain Amerigirl!” 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 Shannon’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 I’ll be searching out their work more now. Avalon Studio’s Rob Ro’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, it’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 won’t disappoint. It’s a great example of what comics should be: entertaining. Don’t wait for the trade, get this each month and you won’t be sorry.

35stars.jpg

The Author

Stacy Baugher

Stacy Baugher

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold.

He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours.

He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

Previous post

Top 300 Comics for April 2008

Next post

Turner Covers Old Man Logan

3 Comments

  1. Nico
    May 21, 2008 at 2:27 pm — Reply

    I echo your opinion that MC2 needs to be more prominent. A Next #1 is one of my favorite issues in my personal collection. I only wish I had more. Even some TPBs would be nice!

  2. ykw
    May 21, 2008 at 10:03 pm — Reply

    Most MC2 stuff IS available in collected form — it’s just there’s more in a kid-friendly digest size than in traditional TPB form factors:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MC2#Reprints

  3. jarkoer
    May 23, 2008 at 11:32 pm — Reply

    Great review! I agree. Tom, Ron, Todd, Scott and Rob –pardon the pun– has been a “dream team” for this mini! All their talents work really well together here. I know the first issue sold out, but I hope the actual sales numbers are good enough that Marvel would consider turning this mini into an ongoing series.

You know you have something to say, say it in the comment section