Speed Republic #2 from Mad Cave Studios features Ryan K Lindsay penning the story and Emanuele Parascandolo providing the art. Michele Monte is credited as the colorist and Joamette Gil is credited as the letterer. Miguel A Zapata worked as the logo and book designer with editors Chris Fernadez and Chris Sanchez attached to this series.
This first issue of Speed Republic introduced a world where citizens compete for their lives free by participating in a deadly race across Europe. This second issue explores our protagonist Sebastian Valencia, a professional slacker finding out that friends, not just foes will sabotage him as the race progresses.
The bigger cliffhanger that greeted readers at the end of the first issue was the surprise reveal that Sebastian’s estranged older sister Shane appeared with a serious sucker punch just as he gained a great start in the first leg of the race. With it, she stole an important item he seriously did his homework for and also reminded him that in this race, the Grand Race–that family means nothing. As this second issue starts more of the word building lore is revealed–this is not a straight race down a simple road.
No, racers have to compete in spurts, throughout different cities with different items and challenges to pick up and complete to shave off time and get a head start on the next leg. As we’ve seen in the first issue: there are even safe houses along the way and other racers who will play less than fair, some who are just in the race for no other reason but to create chaos and snuff out the lives and dreams of their fellow racers.
Interestingly enough Sebastian does meet a familiar face from his hometown, someone who once dated his sister and knows how high the stakes are for him. Unfortunately, what this person is involved in reveals a truly ugly side of the Autocrat’s hold on Europe and the despair that his manufactured Grand Race wrecked on the people. There’s a bloody revolution taking place that if Sebastian isn’t careful or naturally suspicious enough around–he’ll lose his life and set of wheels before he can even think of meeting back up with big sister Shane.
Along with all the small details through the lore, the creative team reveals like the pages where the drivers pick up weapon caches or other nefarious contraband to the one or two big surprises they manage to sneak that stand out in the middle of the street–last issue a bunch of masked hooligans smashing up an old piano.
In Speed Republic #2…another strange sight that takes the cake–Speed Republic continues to fly past my expectations with its fast-paced, high-energy art that tells a story of a young man with much to lose in a race literally built against him. The flashback scenes this issue really emotionally grounded me in showing how the terrible state of the world he grew up in made him grow up–how those around him did their best to toughen him up for it.
My Understated opinion is that the artwork of this series, particularly this issue, can’t be praised enough! Consider not just the artwork but also the interior of the book, the covers, especially the secondary cover’s art, and the bonus page mocked up like a newspaper from this world that explicitly shows what the Grand Race has done to the communities around it.
Some of my favorite pages included quieter panels of Sebastian catching a drink on a balcony with an old friend with the day’s light dying to even–the colors gorgeously blending together before the crap hits the fans. Also, other worthy pages of the closeups of child Sebastian and teenager Shane in the flashbacks, the tone of the lettering immediately grab us in all urgency with guns placed with their hands to do the unthinkable.
Speed Republic continues to fly past my expectations in Speed Republic #2 with its fast-paced, high-energy art that tells a story of a young man with much to lose in a race literally built against him. Keeping pace with the first issue, world-building, lore, and surprises keep me intrigued and reading with high stakes that include betrayal and forcing your heart to be hardened against the world–to what end?
Speed Republic #2 is available where comics are sold.
Speed Republic #2
Speed Republic continues to fly past my expectations with its fast-paced, high-energy art that tells a story of a young man with much to lose in a race literally built against him. Keeping pace with the first issue, world-building, lore, and surprises keep me intrigued and reading with high stakes that include betrayal and forcing your heart to be hardened against the world–to what end?