REVIEW: ‘Skybound X,’ Issue #2

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Skybound X #2 - But Why Tho

Skybound X #2 is an anthology series published by Image Comics under its Skybound Entertainment banner. Following in the footsteps of the first issue, the series contains three new stories set in the world of ongoing and upcoming Skybound series. One of those stories happens to be the launch title for Skybound’s Comet imprint, which is targeted toward middle-grade readers.

The issue begins with the second part of  “Rick Grimes 2000″ which is written by Robert Kirkman, penciled by Ryan Ottley, inked by Cliff Rathburn, colored by Dave McCaig, and lettered by Rus Wooton. “Ghost Right,” set in the world of Birthright, is written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Andrei Bressan with Adriano Lucas on colors & Pat Brosseau on letters. “Leaving,” set in the world of Stillwater, is written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by Ramón K. Perez with colors by Mike Spicer and letters by Wooton. Finally “Summer Daze” introduces Everyday Hero Machine Boy; the story is co-written and illustrated by Tri Vuong with Irma Kniivila serving as co-writer and colorist and Aditya Bidikar on letters.

“Summer Daze” is my favorite story in the issue, as Everyday Hero Machine Boy feels like a Saturday morning cartoon in comic book form. Vuong and Kniivila clearly wore their influences on their sleeves while writing and illustrating this story; under Vuong’s artwork Machine Boy feels like the distant cousin of Astro Boy, and a flashback gave me very heavy Iron Giant vibes. The world Machine Boy inhabits is also vibrant and sunny thanks to Kniivila’s colors, with various humans and anthropomorphic animals populating the buildings. While riding on his bike, Machine Boy passes a normal construction crew and a dog running a noodle stand. This was just a wholesome story and I can’t wait for the full Everyday Hero Machine Boy graphic novel.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, “Rick Grimes 2000” features gore and mayhem as Rick Grimes confronts one of the alien warlords who has conquered Earth. In his typical form of subverting expectations, Kirkman proceeds to show just how outclassed Rick and his allies are—and the results are brought to life by Ottley, Rathburn, and McCaig in their typically violent fashion. The issue ends with the appearance of another Walking Dead alum, hinting at even more chaos to come in future installments.

Both “Leaving” and “Ghost Right” feature stories that hold emotional weight in addition to their respective series’ high concepts; Stillwater is set in a town where no one ages or dies, and Birthright takes a dark turn to the concept of the “Chosen One”. I’ve been a fan of Williamson and Zdarsky’s work on titles including The Flash and Daredevil, and I’m glad to see their talents extend to shaping original stories as well. Bressan and Lucas go wild with drawing fantasy fights in the land of Terrenos—a scene where main character Mikey uses magic to battle zombies, lopping off undead heads in a sequence that’s very The Walking Dead meets Dungeons & Dragons. Perez’s artwork tells a world’s worth of stories, especially in the heartbreaking looks that protagonist Galen shares with his grandfather.

Skybound X #2 continues to explore the universes of the imprint’s various titles and launches a new one with the debut of Everyday Hero Machine Boy. The next issue features the return of one of my favorite Skybound characters, Science Dog, and I can’t wait to see what the cerebral canine gets up to.

Skybound X #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

Skybound X #2
5

TL;DR

Skybound X #2 continues to explore the universes of the imprint’s various titles and launches a new one with the debut of Everyday Hero Machine Boy. The next issue features the return of one of my favorite Skybound characters, Science Dog, and I can’t wait to see what the cerebral canine gets up to.