REVIEW: ‘Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Trauma Team #2

If you’re like me and can’t wait for Cyberpunk 2077 to finally hit stores, you’ll find some respite in Dark Horse Comics’ new series set in the Cyberpunk world. Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #2 is written by Cullen Bunn, with art by Miguel Valderrama, colors by Jason Wordie, and letters by Frank Cvetkovic.

Nadia, an EMT for an organization called Trauma Team, is shocked when her current objective is to save the very man who massacred her previous crew, Apex. To make matters worse, she’s in a skyscraper, a hundred floors up, cornered by gang members that for one reason or another want Apex dead. But can Nadia hold it together as she faces her guilt head-on? As she’s losing members of her new team one by one, can she accept that the life of the client is more important than her crew’s?

Cyberpunk is one of my favorite sci-fi subgenres. From Blade Runner to Neuromancer, the themes of a neon dystopia have always been fascinating. And Trauma Team #2 definitely hits on some of the poignant themes of this subgenre. Anyone who’s a fan of cyberpunk will likely find Nadia’s inner struggle between morality and money familiar, but with the way Bunn writes this character, along with the gorgeous art, readers will still find this issue exciting.

Although Nadia was introduced as the focal character in the last issue, her character wasn’t fleshed out. Thankfully, this issue takes Nadia and expands her character quickly but effectively. Her inner struggle along with her flashbacks where we see her talking to her psychologist and interacting with her teammate and lover, define Nadia. It’s in this tumultuous situation, in which Nadia is forced to confront both her grief and guilt as she fights off gang members and loses teammates, where the reader begins to understand her fully.

Nadia’s motives are plain and simple. She wants to help. She’s willing to take the money and help bad people so long as she also gets to save good people. The problem only comes when she’s faced with a bad person who has personally destroyed her life. And it’s this stumbling block that makes the cliffhanger at the end of the issue that much sweeter. Nadia is on the cusp of a decision that could be her undoing but it could justify everything that she’s lost. Issue #3 undoubtedly is going to be a dramatic one.

Beyond Bunn’s excellent storytelling, Valderrama brings us another issue with gorgeous art. The characters are emotive, diverse, and their designs are interesting and unique. Whether or not this was a purposeful choice, the fact that Nadia removes her helmet goes far to humanize her. She’s the only one on her team whose face we can see and by doing so, the reader’s eyes naturally focus on her expressions in each panel.

Wordie’s color palette hasn’t changed much from the last issue but continues to include bright colors for graffiti, garish highlights for lights, and juxtaposes dark backgrounds with focal characters. Some of the more violent panels are washed in red and the use of cracked and fragmented panels reflects Nadia’s psyche. Cvetkovic’s lettering keeps speech bubbles simplistic and the dialogue is easy to follow from panel to panel.

Overall, Trauma Team #2 is a great follow-up to the first issue. Nadia’s motives and background are expanded, and we really get to see just how much the revelation about Apex is affecting her. Nadia’s guilt and grief are further expanded by the art and colors. The next issue is going to be a dramatic one.

Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #2 is available now wherever comic books are sold.

Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #2
4

TL;DR

Trauma Team #2 is a great follow-up to the first issue. Nadia’s motives and background are expanded, and we really get to see just how much the revelation about Apex is affecting her.