Bruce Lee died in 1973.
Or, at least, that’s what THEY want you to believe… Your Major Spoilers review of Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises #2 awaits!
BRUCE LEE: THE DRAGON RISES #2
Writer: Adam Beechen
Penciler: Brandon McKinney
Inker: Brandon McKinney & Michael Montenant
Colorist: Zac Atkinson
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Renae Geerlings
Publisher: Darby Pop Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises: “Bruce Lee never died. And he hasn’t aged. But he has NO idea who he is, what’s happened in the world in the past 40+ years, or why so many “thugs” want a piece of him. With the help of a fly BFF from the 70s (Joe Toomey, P.I.) and a pair of precocious teens, Bruce begins to piece together a mystery more insidious than ever imagined, and finds himself forced to do battle with both and enigmatic villain and his very own conscience.”
MYSTERIES WITHIN MYSTERIES
This issue opens soon after last issue ended, with Bruce trying to come to terms with the modern world, specifically a “pulled pork donut with cream cheese and nuclear Habanero pepper jelly.” (I don’t know what that is, but it sounds disgusting.) He is also living in the back of a Costsmart, where his old friend Joe works as a stock boy, along with Wren and Jax, two teens whose missing father may be tied up in the whole mystery of Bruce’s return. This issue also throws a wrench into the works in the form of Costsmart Assistant Manager Hackett, whose actions jeopardize our heroes’ hiding place. Bruce gets to show off his jeet kune do skills (even though he doesn’t remember learning any of it, thanks to the magic of muscle memory) ending with the revelation that he’s not the only person who has suddenly returned after a prolonged absence…
LOOSE, FUN, FLOWY ART
Even with all the strange conspiracies and warehouses disappearing in the middle of the night, the real star of the issue is Brandon McKinney’s art, which does a great job of mixing the countenance of the real Bruce Lee with the other characters seamlessly. The facial expressions are very well-done, and all the combat sequences are smooth and believable, which is a must when you’re dealing with the real founder of a real school of martial arts, with enough exaggeration to keep it from turning into still life. This issue also provides some important development in the story itself, revealing a little bit about the hows and whys of Bruce’s refrigeration and thaw, something that will become more and more important as this series ages, if they want to avoid the pitfalls of a ‘Lost’-style mystery…
THE BOTTOM LINE: PRETTY CHARMING STUFF
In short, this is a very solid, very entertaining piece of comic book storytelling, one that easily gets past the inexplicable “How can this be happening?” questions about the premise with attractive art and some clever dialogue. Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises #2 is a good’n, earning a very impressive 3.5 out of 5 stars overall, cementing this as a series that I’m willing to keep reading.