01st Jul2015

‘Surface Tension #2′ Review

by Dean Fuller

Written and Drawn by Jay Gunn | Published by Titan Comics | Format: Paperback, 32pp

Surface-Tension_02_Cover_A.jpg.size-600

Issue 1 of this series proved to be a pleasant surprise, steering clear of many of the clichés and pitfalls similar series have suffered from. New boy Jay Gunn proved very adept at plotting, scripting and illustrating last month’s issue and I have been looking forward to seeing if he can keep that run going.

To briefly recap, Surface Tension #1 introduced us to a world where 99% of humanity has died from the ‘Sea Sickness’ (they kind of melted!). The tiny island of Breith has escaped so far, but when two previously-thought dead people return, now a suspicious shade of blue, things start to happen. A blend of sci-fi and horror that, for the most part, really worked well…

Which then makes Gunn’s decision to jettison most of that atmosphere in favour of a more subdued character-piece this issue all the more confusing. By Gunn pushing the plight of the islanders to the background, and filling in a lot of background character development , especially between Shauna and now-blue Ryan, he loses a lot of the momentum and sense of danger he spent an entire issue building up last month. Some background development is both welcome and necessary, but not to this extent at this point in the story.

That’s not to say I am giving up on it, at least not yet. Though I feel this an awkward issue, following such a strong first one, Gunn still packs in plenty of thought provoking material, continuing his eco message theme. The couple of pages at the beginning and very end point to huge developments. We get glimpses throughout of things and places that are clearly going to feature more heavily later so Gunn possibly, for the sake of even plotting, made the concession of a slower issue so he can rebuild the atmosphere and momentum next month on. At least that is what I am hoping.

Gunn’s artwork is not bad, though at times I felt looked a little rushed, perhaps due to a tight schedule and pulling double duty as writer and artist. His layouts and line work I really like, they have a nice clean, classic feel, though figures and faces are hit and miss. He does draw nice backgrounds though, clearly putting in a lot of effort to create these worlds and environments visually, so his words have more impact.

On balance, an average issue. While character background was strong, the main story stalled somewhat leaving me, the reader, somewhat disappointed after the rollercoaster of last month. I do, however, expect this to merely be a blip along the way and , if the last panel is anything to go by, next month may very well start with a bang.

**½  2.5/5

Surface Tension #2 is out now from Titan Comics.

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