REVIEW: ‘Karmen,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Karmen #2

Karmen #2 is published by Image Comics, with writing and art by Guillem March. After taking her own life, Catalina now flys through the city as she explores what is, at least for the moment, her next phase of existence. But something unexpected threatens to ruin her newfound freedom and joy. Will the enigmatic Karmen be able to help Catalina gain some understanding of her life through this new experience? 

Coming off of my confusion with the last issue of Karmen, this issue begins to solidify what the story seems to be pointing to. After a long, mostly silent opening where the reader follows Catalina as she flies through the city, she stumbles upon an unlikely moment that completely sours her mood from the elation she had previously experienced. This moment causes her great pain, and as she turns once more to despair, Karmen returns to challenge Catalina’s conclusions about her current state of mind and her life in general. This introspective look at Catalina as a person and how her decisions in life impacted both herself and her relationships with those around her come to occupy the rest of Karmen #2’s story. 

March writes the conversation between Catalina and Karmen well, with each making valid points that are delivered clearly and in a way any reader will be able to follow. While Catalina’s viewpoint is fueled by her emotions, Karmen can approach the discussion from a much more logical place. These contrasts in styles give a further dynamic to the discussion. 

There is also a more abstract moment that breaks up Karmen #2’s narrative. Before Karmen rejoins Catalina, we see where she had to head off to in the previous issue. There is another soul that requires Karmen’s attention as they pass between worlds. However, as this individual passes, their experience is significantly different from what we have seen of Catalina. No reason for the difference is given, and the sequence feels mostly like an eclectic moment used to break up the story. 

March’s art in Karmen #2 delivers its story well. The opening flight sequence gives a genuine sense of motion to Catalina’s body. As she flies along, her body is portrayed in a way that feels like forces such as gravity and inertia are acting on her. This attention to detail with her figure is impressively executed. However, some may find multiple consecutive pages of a naked woman flying through a city a bit awkward. 

The color choices by March in this issue are interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a book with quite the same palette, and much like the story itself, I can’t decide if it works for me or not. 

Lastly, we have the lettering. While the story’s first half is light on text, the back half gets verbose as our two main characters come to the story’s philosophical thrust. The lettering comes through here, keeping the wordy debate clear and easy to follow.

Looking back on Karmen #2, the concepts of the story are beginning to come together. While I remain uncertain of how the story will continue from here, my previous befuddlement has been mostly replaced by genuine curiosity.

Karmen #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Karmen #2
3.5

TL;DR

Looking back on Karmen #2, the concepts of the story are beginning to come together. While I remain uncertain of how the story will continue from here, my previous befuddlement has been mostly replaced by genuine curiosity.