REVIEW: ‘Adventureman,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Adventureman #2

Adventureman #2 is published by Image Comics, written by Matt Fraction with art and colors by Terry Dodson, inks by Rachel Dodson and letters by Clayton Cowles. Clair has passed the book she received from her strange visitor last issue to her son. On their way to his school Tommy makes a surprising discovery. The book lists the address for Adventum Worldwide. The home of Adventureman. But those are just old pulp literature stories. Right?

After seeing her son safely to his school Claire starts her usual routine. First stop, her sister’s bakery for soufflé day. While chatting with her sister however, she starts feeling a subtle pull on her psyche. She has an itch to go chase down that address. And she really needs to scratch it. After a bizarre turn of events disrupts soufflé day Claire can no longer resist the clarion call. She off on her moped. Her destination: ADVENTURE!

I have to admit, I’m really starting to love Claire’s character. She comes across as a fun, enthusiastic person who is both content with her life, and feels completely normal. Happily however, Fraction doesn’t fall into the trap of having his every woman translate to boring. She’s normal, but she has a great personality. Something those content with their lives are often denied in adventure stories.

Adventureman #2’s shining moment is how Fraction writes Claire decision to go exploring. It forced me to smile. She comes across as giddy, and ridiculous, and a bit embarrassed by her behavior. It felt exactly like how I feel when I decide to do something that prompts me to think,” I can’t believe I’m doing this”. A picture perfect capturing of an all to familiar slice of the human experience.

Once Claire’s search ends, her adventure is just beginning however. But don’t worry, I won’t spoil the fun. Suffice it to say, what awaits her goes along splendidly with the pulp adventure aesthetic that has been sculpted into this story.

Adventureman #2

Along with the fun character driven adventure of Adventureman #2’s story, it’s art reinforces all the themes of the story. The visual presentation as a whole feels like a big beautiful celebration of its characters. With lots of oversized panels to showcase its moments, the Dodsons deliver one visual treat after another. The only minor draw back to their approach to panel layout comes to the lettering.

There is a point or two where following the the story of Adventureman #2 required me to back up and try reading dialogue boxes in a different order to get the narrative right. And while dialogue placement is the responsibility of the letterer, in this case Cowles, I don’t feel all of these difficulties would be fair to lay at his feet. Some of these pages, while gorgeous, have some spots where clearly conveying the story’s order would be tricky. Even after figuring out the proper order I couldn’t immediately see an obviously “better” solution to the one Cowles went with. Sometimes style can clash with substance. It’s not a huge problem here, but something to note.

Beyond some stumbles with narrative fluidity the rest of Cowles’ lettering work in Adventureman #2 is sublime. While it’s spoken dialogue itself is fairly standard in its presentation Cowles uses a myriad of visual styles to highlight the other aspects of the story he presents. Everything from text messages to background sounds are given their own unique visual flairs. This variety only adds more to the story’s visual pop.

When all is said and done, Adventureman #2 lands with near perfection. With only a couple minor stumbles occurring with its wonderful story I cannot recommend it enough. For anyone looking for a bit of pulp fun and adventure to ease a rough day, this book may be just the ticket you are looking for.

Adventureman #2 is available July 8th wherever comics are sold.


Adventureman #2
4.5

TL;DR

When all is said and done, Adventureman #2 lands with near perfection. With only a couple minor stumbles occurring with its wonderful story I cannot recommend it enough. For anyone looking for a bit of pulp fun and adventure to ease a rough day, this book may be just the ticket you are looking for.