In The Recount #2, President Christensen is dead and new president McDearmon barely survives her own assassination. Now, with terrorist movement The Masses killing anyone who supported Christensen, the race is on to get his successor back to the safety of the White House. Does she? Find out in your next mighty Major Spoilers review!
Writer: Jonathan Hedrick
Artist: Gabriel Ibarra-Nunez
Colorist: Sunil Ghagre
Letterer: Cristian Docolomansky
Editor: Andrea Lorenzo Molinari
Publisher: Scout Comics
Release Date: February 17th, 2021
Previously in The Recount: President Christensen has been heinously assassinated, and the finger of blame is firmly pointed at someone in his Secret Service detail. His successor, Meredith McDearmon, calls a press conference, which is hijacked by a secret organization called ‘The Masses.’ And then the new President herself barely survives her own assassination attempt. Now, the race is on to reach the dubious safety of the White House…
CITY ON A HILL
If nothing else, The Recount #2 taps deep into the well of seething paranoia and conspiracy that grips the fringes of American politics like nothing else I’ve read in 2021. President Christensen is dead, assassinated by elements of a movement known only as The Masses. His VP, Meredith McDearmon, finds herself the next target of The Masses, a movement dedicated to slaughtering anyone who supported what they regard as Christensen’s corrupt election. Which means killing all the Electoral College electors who voted for him at the last election.
Clearly taking its inspiration from the concocted nonsense that gripped America after last November’s election (allegation the winner stole the election along with his female VP), The Recount #2 goes further and describes an America gripped by a resort to armed violence far in excess of what happened in the Capitol building last January. Far from the steal being a co-ordinated effort to topple American democracy, it is The Masses who have created a wide-ranging organization organized enough to find, locate and kill 37 electors within 10 minutes of their addresses being published online.
Taken as a logical next step, The Recount #2 is certainly happy to ‘go there’, in terms of killing a sitting President, targeting his successor, and slaughtering anyone who had anything to do with Christensen’s election. The conspiracy runs deep, as McDearmon’s assigned secret service agent killing of a four star Air Force general to stop him attacking her demonstrates.
While embracing the crazy, The Recount #2 also swiftly moves the plot along. McDearmon and special agent Barto engage in fierce firefight as she attempts to return to the White House. The action is hot, heavy and brutal in this sequence, as the rabid determination of the terrorists is put on display. Later, we see the conspiracy at its heart, and a shocking revelation at the very end of the issue demonstrates writer Jonathan Hedrick’s willingness to shimmy up to the line of what is reasonable, and then jump over it with reckless abandon. It’s breathtaking stuff.
YOUR HUDDLED MASSES
I like a good conspiracy thriller. I especially like a good political conspiracy thriller. The Parallax View, Blow Out and The Conversation are all examples of the genre in slightly different modes. The Recount #2 takes the idea to its ultimate conclusion, with a don’t tread on me aesthetic that highlights how bad things could really be if the forces ranged against authority decided to actually co-ordinate and use all the tools at hand.
Artist Gabriel Ibarra-Nunez embraces Hedrick’s freewheeling narrative with his artwork. The aforementioned running gun battle is a case in point, which is depicted with a type of cinematic flare not seen outside an 80s action movie. There’s a delightfully ghoulish aspect to the art, with the attackers all dressed in masks and funny hats, as they wield AK 47s in service of killing the newly declared President. Ibarra-Nunez makes great use of shadow, casting character’s faces in gloom, as well as a visual demonstration of the state of things, with the sun guttering on the horizon as storm clouds gather. It’s this vivid, vital and electrifying artwork that elevates the story, and is the icing on the crazy cake.
BOTTOM LINE: CUCKOO
When I was a boring youngster, I would’ve been outraged at the outrageous nature of the storyline in The Recount #2. Perhaps all the craziness of the last four years has been normalized for me – yes, The Recount #2 is totally over the type, yes, it is completely unbelievable, but it’s all so much fun. Art is like that, though, and can convey more than a careful article in a paper of record, for instance. Something like The Recount #2 holds up the mirror and reflects back the twisted insanity of what we’ve all experienced over the last half decade. Bravo and kudos to the creative team and the publishers.
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The Recount #2
deliriously crazy, full of the sort of crazed notions that populate 4chan, and all Dexterously welded together by a creative team happily embracing it all, The Recount #2 is a lot of fun and a knowing nod to where things might go if all the barriers are torn down. Quite possibly, The Recount #2 is a warning to the world about where things might spiral if allowed to do so.