Super-powers in a surveillance state and a couple of kids on the run… Your Major Spoilers review of Heart Attack #2 awaits!
Writer: Shawn Kittelsen
Artist: Eric Zawadzki
Colorist: Michael Garland
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Jon Moisan
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 18, 2019
Previously in Heart Attack: Ever since Variants were “birthed,” the country has feared the emergence of Powers of Mass Destruction. Now their fears become reality as Jill and Charlie manifest abilities beyond their wildest dreams… and the Variant Crimes Unit is their first target.
AN ‘X-MEN’ REFERENCE ON PAGE ONE!
The place is Austin, Texas. The year is unknown. Charlie and Jill have just somehow vastly expanded their minor “variants” (he’s a pyrokinetic, she’s a telekinetic) just by holding hands, allowing them to disable the force of stormtroop– err, police sent to take them in. Making a break for it, the evade pursuit long enough to find their way to one of Jill’s bolt-holes, a former junior high school gym where she and her friends have been training minor variants in using (and hiding) their powers. There’s a palpable tension between them, but things get even more awkward the next day, as Jill takes him home to meet her roommate and little sister, and then Charlie slips away to meet with Ramon…
…the man who sent him to infiltrate Jill’s underground organization.
A FAMILIAR MEET-CUTE AND TEST POWERS/SEXUAL TENSION ISH
This issue gets by on the strength of Jill and Charlie’s cute interactions and all the strange twenty-something awkwardness and/or sexual tension that comes with it. Her joy at finding her powers amplified is infectious, which really helps to overcome the familiar parts of the “young people discovering their powers” tropes. The setting, an undefined “twenty minutes into the future” timeframe in Texas also helps, with much of the back matter explaining more about the world and its socio-political setting, all drawn on real-world events. It’s very charming, made more so by the art, which falls somewhere between Doc Shaner and Philip Bond. (And if you know how much I love those particular artists, you’ll see how that’s a true complimient.) Jill’s facial expressions are wonderful throughout the story, and the fact that she spends most of it in a cocktail dress and heels feels perfectly natural (especially when she ditches them to go roof-running.)
BOTTOM LINE: I’LL BE BACK NEXT MONTH
In short, Heart Attack #2 is the kind of second issue that sends you out to find #1 immediately, all the while preparing to add it to your pull list, with attractive art and a nuanced and interesting take on the “suddenly getting new powers and a relationship” trope that we’ve see in comics many times, earning a well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars overall. If this series builds the way ‘Saga’ or ‘Invincible’ did, this could be he proverbial Next Big Thing.
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HEART ATTACK #2
Well-done art and some lovely characterization makes this a new take on some familiar territory, and the political parts add to the drama. This could be something truly impressive.