Incursion #2 is tough and exciting with a villain remarkable not only for her callousness, but also for being utterly blasé about it all.
Earth is on the brink of destruction! Can Gilad save Tama, the young geomancer, in time to save our planet? Valiant Entertainment sent Major Spoilers a review copy, and I share my thoughts on Incursion #2.
Writer: Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel
Artist: Doug Braithwaite
Colorist: Diego Rodriguez
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment LLC
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: March 20, 2019
Previously in Incursion: The necromancer Imperatrix Virago, through her young servant Syntilla, keeps herself young by consuming worlds. The next world in her sights – Earth! But our planet has a connection to a young geomancer, Tama, who can sense that things are not all right. Her guardian Gilad is even more on the alert to protect her. Syntilla, who looks like a young child, comes to Earth with an advance army and finds Tama, infecting her with a necromantic virus. If Tama dies, so does the Earth. Gilad must find a cure at all costs!
A WARRIOR’S JOURNEY
Incursion #2 jumps right into the story with some tight dialogue to tell us more about what’s going on. I also like this because if you missed the first issue, this will bring you up to speed, and it comes across quite naturally. Syntilla infected Tama; Tama is the Earth’s protector, but is also connected with all nature; if Tama dies, the Earth dies. In short, everything we know is at stake.
Gilad has come to the closest person he knows of who might be able to help him – Dr. Mirage. This is also fitting because Tama has been visiting the Deadside, and that is also how Syntilla made her way to Earth. And if anybody knows the Deadside, it is Dr. Mirage and Hwen (her husband, now a ghost). She gives Gilad two choices, neither of which is terribly good. He can go into the Deadside, find Syntilla, and persuade her to fix things, or Dr. Mirage and Hwen can sever the bond between Tama and the Earth, which might result in one or both dying.
Gilad chooses to go to the Deadside. When he arrives, he is almost immediately found and recognized by three small demons. Apparently, he would be quite a catch for anyone here. A larger demon also recognizes him, but offers to help – it knows Tama, who freed it and has been nice to it. She desperately wants Gilad’s death, if he should die, but she is also willing to tell him about Syntilla and give him directions to Virago’s fortress. Once there, he is on his own, but not for nothing is he an Eternal Warrior, and he makes his way to Syntilla.
Throughout there are more hints that Syntilla’s relationship to Virago is something exceptional, something unique. Apparently she and Virago are both the last of their kind. Virago is getting reflective, but she is also getting impatient. The necromantic energy she siphons from plants refreshes her for less and less time, and she is feeling her age.
There is a wonderful tension to this story. I like the dichotomy between our planet dying and Tama dying – it puts a human face on the abstract. I also like the way Virago is written. She is selfish and heartless, but she comes across as being old and accustomed to being vain, having done this for so long she hardly even sees the destruction of what she’s doing.
LOVELY AND HORRIFYING
The art in Incursion #2 is just gorgeous, although it can also be rather bloody at times. The line work is soft and detailed. The few panels we have on earth really hint at the majesty of nature, which is in sharp contrast to the Deadside. One thing I really appreciate in the art is that, with the support of the narrative, we get a fascinating montage of Gilad’s travel to Virago’s fortress. The images are so evocative of what he’s going through that our imaginations can easily fill in extra details.
I love the watercolor-like colors used here. It makes everything look just a bit dreamlike. It may dampen the red of the blood a bit, but it really doesn’t soften the violence at all. It just gives it a different character. Expressions still come through intensely, and there is great character detail.
Lettering is also worth a mention. There are several different things the lettering sets off for us, and they keep everything clear while being perfectly subtle. After talking with Gilad, Dr. Mirage speaks briefly with Hwen. His speech bubbles have slightly different shaping. When the demons are talking, they have white text on a black background and a more angular or jagged font. Virago has her own color and style. It’s very rich and I think it shows the effectiveness of using all the tools at hand in storytelling.
BOTTOM LINE: FANTASY, ADVENTURE, OR ALLEGORY
Or why not all three? Incursion #2 is tough and exciting with a villain remarkable not only for her callousness but also for being utterly blasé about it all. The Deadside as a setting is entering a living nightmare and that seems completely fitting. I like tying this all in with the death of the Earth, because this book also takes moments to remind us of what a treasure we have.