Sylas wields an ancient power to sense and siphon away pain from others. Once, he was overwhelmed, but now he charts his own path in Syphon Volume 2 #1 by Top Cow!
SYPHON VOLUME 2 #1 (OF 4)
Writer: Mohsen Ashraf and Arish Akanda
Artist: Thomas Hedglen and Mostafa Moussa
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Elena Salcedo and Matt Hawkins
Publisher: Top Cow
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 15th, 2023
Previously in Syphon: Syphon returns! Sylas is an EMT who can siphon people’s emotions. While navigating this new ability, he met Antonio, who taught him how to harness joy. Antonio proved to have darker intentions, and Sylas had to battle and defeat him in the astral plane. Now, Sylas and his partner Livia try to study the effects of emotional trauma and what role his powers play in the larger scheme of things.
Syphon Volume 2 #1 introduces a few new characters centered around the Amazon. Shori and Suyan sneak into a temple and find a beast that takes Suyan. This creature signifies the start of a prophecy. Meanwhile, Sylas and Livia are playing cards in the park and discussing the ethics of taking people’s pain away without consent. Sylas is a man of action and hates to feel everyone’s pain. Liv heads to work and meets a new patient who seems unable to feel emotions, while Sylas goes to an arcade. He notices a bartender having many mixed feelings and decides to siphon some of that pain away, but he might have taken too much. Taking that emotion, he returns home to channel a ball of emotion that explodes in his hand.
Unfortunately, Sylas’ actions gather the attention of a bounty hunter, who sedates Sylas before talking to Livia.
I had a hard time remembering the first story arc and found myself struggling to attach myself as a character. I picked up the first Volume and gave it a quick skim before doing my multiple read-throughs for this review. When I look at an issue #1 comic, I expect a certain reintroduction to the characters and themes. While we get a brief recap blurb, my reintroduction to Sylas and Livia was more of a conversation of ethics rather than understanding who the characters are. So, during my initial read, it felt like two strangers rather than a reminder of why I liked these characters in the first place. But, in reality, that is my only criticism of the comic. A good story should have a plot, characterization, and setting held together through conflict. And the book has those things, but the narrative arc seems particularly strong. After introducing ethics, the creative team immediately challenged that notion through Sylas and Livia in their respective scenes. And the promise of a larger plot reels you in. From my perspective, this shows a clear understanding of story structure and how it works.
The strength of the visual culture of Sylas has always been the colors. While the linework is detailed and the characters look unique, color theory and the color of emotion come alive on the page. Great work overall.
I like the complexity of Syphon Volume 2 #1. It appeals to me as an intellectual and as a casual comics reader. On top of that, Sylas doesn’t feel like a superpowered hero but just a regular guy trying to figure things out. Livia is also trying to figure things out but with a different approach. So, one of these characters will act as a mirror for the reader. Syphon Volume 2 #1 receives 4 out of 5 stars, and I’ll be checking out the rest of the series.
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Syphon Volume 2 #1
Syphon Volume 2 #1 provides an intellectual but entertaining story about the power of emotions and how they affect everyday life.