Originally written for Flickering Myth.
“The Mutanimals have uncovered a new mutant who has undergone unspeakable trauma at the hands of the Null Group. Hob and company are determined to bring the corporation down, but already divisions begin to form in the group when deadly tactics are discussed. Will the Mutanimals be able to stay intact?”
The coolest thing to take away from Mutanimals #2 is that ‘Hob shoots first’.
But the most important thing to take away is that this story is full of real characters with thoughts, feelings and motivations. Mutant, male, female, devil; all are treated with the same sharp writing that draws you in. A story doesn’t matter if you don’t care about what’s happening, and right now I care a lot.
There’s a real mixture of emotions here too, which is conveyed brilliantly well in both the script and the artwork. From Herman’s milk ‘stache to Pete blowing bubbles at just the right time; the details peppered throughout by Andy Kuhn take this series up to a higher level.
Paul Allor has made great use of a character I’d never found that interesting – Mutagen Man – and made him into an interesting character that could ultimately decide the direction of the Mutanimals. He’s a broken…something…and like the rest of the Mutanimals needs to find his place. Will be want to be a hero or will he want vengeance?
That balance is well played out between Slash and Hob, and leaves a lot of questions. Hob has been through a lot, making the levels he’s willing to go to more explainable. Slash has been through even more, but isn’t so willing to do anything and everything, and it’s great to see the effect the turtles had on him. They’re take on ‘good turtle, bad cat’ certainly got results but can’t be sustained. Hob may show a softer side at times but will there be a split? Through this issue Hob reminded me of someone and I was couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it came to me…Magneto! Subjugated by a race he deems inferior and willing to do whatever he feels is necessary.
With no parents to speak of and no formal upbringing these guys only have each other to help them which makes for some touching moments, ad should lead to some big decisions.
In amongst all this we have some normal people, people who have mortgages to pay and aren’t necessarily evil. Such a large company is bound to employ many people so far down the chain that they’re just trying to get on and don’t really tie into the whole ‘evil plot’ business that’s going down. They aren’t needed for the story per se, but they do ground it nicely. Add in an entertainingly strong female only conversation that is far more than box-ticking and you’ve got all the bases covered.
It’s a mighty second issue in what is still on track to be a great series. Now if I could just have it explained how Null is so devilish I’d be completely happy. It hasn’t been questioned yet, but I guess when you’ve been with a mutated cat and his army for months, a woman with horns isn’t so weird?