Rising Sun #2 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Ron Marz and David Rodriguez, art by Martin Cóccolo, colors by Katrina Mae Hao and letters by Deron Bennett. After setting off on their quest last issue, the party falls victim to an ambush by a horde of yūrei. Normally, benevolent creatures, these ones attack savagely. Is this another sign of something wicked taking advantage of the absence of the Kami? And will more be tested by these enemies than just our heroes’ battle prowess?
Rising Sun #2 not only continues all of the excellent aspects that made the first issue great, but it expands upon them. Once again, we find the book opening with a dramatic battle sequence. Instead of a singular daunting foe, this time our heroes are up against a seemingly endless horde. This alteration of enemy type helps the book maintain a fresh feeling, while still following a narrative pattern. And just as with issue one, this story uses the battle to not only show off our heroes impressive skills but also their characters.
These character elements shine through mostly clear as the battle concludes. The party does not escape their predicament unscathed, and these scars cause some members to question the loyalties of others. The introduction of this plot element is timed perfectly. While I’ve seen more than enough of these characters to know who I like, I cannot say who I trust. This adds a level of tension to the scenario that would be lost if introduced when characters are more established.
While Rising Sun #2 does a great job giving all of its characters time the one that shines above the rest for me has to be Chiyoko, the group’s stalwart leader. Now, I’ve always had a soft spot in my literary heart for a strong-willed commander that can make a mission work through sheer will alone. And Chiyoko is definitely rocking that vibe. I cannot imagine this strong-willed woman not seeing her mission to completion. She is the kind of character that inspires confidence in most. Not only with her combat skills, but her devotion to both her duty and her compatriots.
Just as Rising Sun #2 carries the narrative elements forward beautifully the art deserves no less praise. I was particularly impressed with how Cóccolo handles the opening battle sequence. He does a magnificent job of managing to capture the all encroaching mass of enemies pressing down on the party without ever letting things become disjointed or confused. He also has a great grasp on how to put just enough blood into his shots to give the moments a visceral feel, without becoming gratuitous. Excellent coloring by Hao rounds out the artistic presentation to near perfection. The colors always keep the eye focused on exactly where it needs to be. No matter how chaotic the scene.
The clearness of the panels is also further helped by Bennett’s excellent lettering. Dialogue placement in such cluttered panels can be extremely difficult. Luckily, Bennett seems more than up to the task. Nothing interesting is ever hidden, despite the running dialogue throughout the most chaotic of moments.
Rising Sun #2 continues to be a marvelously done adventure filled with kinetic action, good drama, and richly fleshed-out characters. A fantastic read for anyone who is looking for a little escapism in a land of swords and sorcery.
Rising Sun #2 is available on February 12th wherever comics are sold.
Rating: 5/5 battle filled journeys
Rising Sun #2
Rising Sun #2 continues to be a marvelously done adventure filled with kinetic action, good drama, and richly fleshed-out characters.