The Heathens #2
Aftershock Comics 2021
Written by Cullen Bunn & Heath Amodio
Illustrated by Sami Kivelä
Coloured by Jason Wordie
Lettered by Simon Bowland
The Heathens chase the scorpion into its hole and find themselves surrounded by snakes. Can five alphas stay together long enough for the entire pack to make it out alive?
What a spectacular issue this is as it mixes the fight they walked into and their own personal histories allowing us a chance to see what these characters are all about. Each one has their own story and we finally get a chance to learn more about them and what they did to become an Alpha, okay what they were about that leads them to be considered an Alpha. It’s a subtle difference but it is actually important because we don’t see them being chosen as an Alpha just what makes them so special. Even better is we see them through the Ripper’s eyes as well as through their own telling of their story and as an added bonus we learn how the two men knew each other and why they don’t like one another. I found myself spellbound and fascinated with the story and their own stories and quite honestly I really didn’t want that to end.
I am very much enamoured with the way that this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information are presented exceptionally well. The character development that we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how we see them act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter does such a magnificent job in continuing to flesh out their personalities. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through the pages revealing their stories and the story itself the more we want to see of their pasts and how they died and what happens afterwards.
I am mightily impressed with the way we see this being structured as well as how we see the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen. I am also liking the way that we see these layers open up new avenues to be explored and honestly each individual story is worthy of exploration. What all these avenues do is add such great depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward are impeccably handled.
I am really loving the interiors here! The linework is exquisite and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create such great detail within the work is extraordinary to see. Between the backgrounds and how we see the composition of the panels work to enhance and expand the moments while also working within the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The page layouts are quite inspired at times and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show such a remarkably talented eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show an exceptional eye for how colour works and how to maximise their effects.
There is a lot going on here and you might think it may overload the reader but honestly the way that this is being told and how the flow of the book is done, what we see and learn while yes is quite a bit is also extraordinarily well done. This does separate the group and we’ll see next issue just how this affects things moving forward in the next issue. With some exceptional writing and stellar characterisation alongside these brilliant interiors really do a superb job in bringing these characters to life and give the reader a look into who they were when they were alive.