Imagine the power and danger in being able to make people angry, or kind, just for a moment. What have Sadie and Wes stumbled upon? Find out more in Finger Guns #2 from Vault Comics!
FINGER GUNS #2
Writer: Justin Richards
Artist: Val Halvorson
Colorist: Rebecca Nalty
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Adrian F. Wassel
Publisher: Vault Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 3, 2020
Previously in Finger Guns: Teenage Wes has a lonely life. He has no friends, the days are long and boring, and his dad has to work late again. He heads off to the mall, but when he idly starts shooting finger guns at random people, it seems to have an effect – they get momentarily angry and then come back to their senses. This is amusing for a while, but then Wes runs into Sadie, a girl who also shoots finger guns, except that when she does it, people become really nice for a few seconds.
TAKING THINGS MORE SERIOUSLY
Finger Guns #2 opens at the guidance counselor’s office in school. Sadie has a lot on her mind. She has been trying to catch up on her schoolwork, and apparently is making progress. But we also get a peek into her family life. Her father is abusive to her mother, and his anger is starting to focus on Sadie as well. She has been using her finger gun on him – repeatedly – and it can deflect the worst at least for a few moments. But she hides all this from the guidance counselor with a bright smile. On the flip side, when her father goes out and Sadie and her mom can be alone together, and they have a very close bond.
Sadie is a determined young lady. Not only is she pushing to improve her grades, but she also spends time in the library trying to research finger guns. She finds the sign language alphabet and notices some similarities. She turns down an invitation to spend time with friends in order to experiment with Wes. Their work gets nothing but funny looks and comments from other people.
They keep speculating, and the discussion takes them to Wes’ house. Along the way they meet the neighborhood dog. He’s just a stray who hangs out in the area, and Sadie names him Chester and gives him a red kerchief to wear. They feed the dog and spend the afternoon playing video games. To Sadie, this independence and freedom is amazing. Then it comes out that Wes wishes his dad were around more, and he talks about how much things changed since his mom died.
It’s an interesting moment. These two have just started becoming friends. We know their situations; they don’t know anything more than their own. It captures that moment of discovery when you realize that not everyone has had the same experiences that you have had, and that’s a moment we can stand to experience multiple times throughout our lives.
KIDS BEING KIDS
I think the art of Finger Guns #2 does an excellent job of capturing the characters as complicated, but still young, people. I particularly like the opening scene with Sadie. The panels cut abruptly back and forth from the office to the encounter with her father that’s still on her mind. It’s momentarily jarring, but as soon as you catch on, you know this is what she’s not saying. Then, when we see Sadie in the present, we can see how she’s choosing to hide this, to keep it inside and private even though it is huge for her. The seriousness of this is balanced by a panel of the guidance counselor with his motivational poster and the picture of himself as Employee of the Month.
The colors of the covers are eye-popping. While that doesn’t carry over directly into the interior, there are panels throughout that use rich color contrast to set them apart. And I really love the two-page spread of Wes and Sadie experimenting. The panels are interesting. The art plays with old Western tropes. And the comments from the peanut gallery add, again, a dash of humor.
BOTTOM LINE: LIFE IS COMPLICATED WITH MOMENTS OF JOY
Finger Guns #2 takes us deeper into the lives of the main characters, and I appreciate that the book is deeper than just having them continue to play silly games with their finger guns. These kids have serious issues to deal with and their optimism and determination are a bright spot in a dark world.
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Finger Guns #2
Sadie and Wes find common ground in their finger guns and music.