Tim is a poor artist living in Brooklyn, New York. One day, he finds out he is bipolar when he gets hit by a car while walking into the middle of the street half-naked. After spending some time in the hospital and therapy, as well as taking a large amount of drugs, Tim returns to New York as a famous artist. The work he painted while dealing with his bipolar condition is considered some of his best art. Surrounded by his current girlfriend, Alexis, and her hipster friends, Tim struggles with his condition, which may be more than it seems.

Polarity 2 coverPOLARITY #2
Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Letterer: Steve Wands
Colorist: Felipe Sobriero
Editor: Bryce Carlson
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Polarity: Tim is at a gallery that is featuring some of his paintings. While in bed with Alexis, he is told that his current work is not as good as the ones he did while in the hospital. Angry, Tim storms off to a local bar where he meets Lily, an old college crush. His awkward encounter leads him to believe he is better off being bipolar. Tim refuses to take his prescription drugs and hides in his apartment for days. After a heated argument with his best friend Adam, he climbs a fire escape to smoke on the roof. On the way, he finds a mysterious man in the apartment above him talking about Tim on his cell phone. When confronted, the man pulls out a gun. Instinctively, Tim head butts the mystery man, shattering his head into many pieces.

REVENGE IS A DISH SERVED WITH SUPERPOWERS

Max Bemis continues the adventures of hipster-hating artist Tim in Polarity #2. Tim visits his therapist, Dr. Mays, and finds out his bipolar condition is giving him superpowers (through the magic of pseudo-science). Max Bemis does a great job transitioning Tim’s character from emotional wreck (after killing another human being) to power-wielding devil’s advocate against his girlfriend and her hipsters. Tim experiences normal human emotions regarding death, something few comics are able to portray well. Through his protagonist’s dialogue and narration, the writer is lashing out at the hipster generation. It is ironic Tim hates hipsters since his style, mannerisms, and art encourage the culture he despises. I also like the way Bemis approaches Tim’s newfound superpowers. Like most people with power, Tim goes on a wish-fulfillment rampage: calling out people’s hypocrisies, beating up unsuspecting bullies, and even getting the courage to go on stage at a concert to expose a singer’s horrific crimes. Although the writer implies if you do not take medication for being bi-polar you will get superpowers, he tempers this revelation with the consequences of Tim’s actions. Tim feels justified when he lashes out at people around him, but he is also actively looking to hurt them. They are now miserable. For many, their lives are in ruins. I do not know if the writer will address the consequences in later issues, but it would add some conflict to Bemis’s omnipotent protagonist.

FROM BIPOLAR TO SUPERHERO

Jorge Coelho’s art style mixes into the overall theme and plot of Polarity extremely well. As Tim develops from drug addled artist to suave telepathic inquisitor, the change is not only mental, but also physical. Jorge Coelho makes a seamless transition, from a bearded, worn out Tim to a clean cut, well-dressed superhero. Also, some scenes have more impact when combined with Coelho’s portrayals. For example, Tim’s narration is more interesting while he is staring into space on a rooftop or laying in his bed. The monologuing relates to his personal surroundings and does not seem random. There are also many diverse character designs and scenery that feel like they came straight out of Brooklyn.

BOTTOM LINE: A SOLID SUPERHERO ORIGIN STORY

Max Bemis and Jorge Coelho deliver a powerful comic with Polarity. With a combination of solid dialogue and in-depth conversations, Max Bemis portrays a smart, but troubled individual with Tim. With Jorge Coelho’s art direction, Polarity is a solid piece of storytelling. Although Tim as an all powerful being does not provide much conflict at the moment, the comic represents a modern day superhero origin story.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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The Author

Kevin Mak

Kevin Mak

Kevin has been reading comics since he was twelve years old. Since then, he has survived three DC Comics Crisis (Identity, Infinite and Final), several horrible comic book movies, and many, many brand-wide crossover events. His favorite pastimes include writing, sketching and shattering other people's perceptions. Kevin is currently a recovering Star Wars fan and Japanime addict.

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