Sometimes testing the suit can put you in a whole lot of danger.
Story: Frank Barbiere / Randy Stradley
Pencils: Colin Lorimer / Doug Wheatley
What They Say:
Scott Travers’s mysterious suit grants him unseen, unlimited access to almost anywhere and may hold the key to his benefactor’s disappearance. But others will do anything—including kill—to possess the suit. Will Scott give up the search and ditch the suit to save his own skin?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening issue of Blackout played it loose with what was going on, making you catch up along the way, but the second installment has a bit more foundation to it which makes it easier to get into. With Steve having gotten the suit and working to figure out what’s going on since it’s so otherworldly in so many ways, it wasn’t a surprise that he’d head back to Mechatronics to get some answers, though that he’d do it in the way he did nearly paints him as a criminal in a lot of ways. Having him sneak in to swipe the drives and gain more information certainly makes sense, but his approach is one that left a little to be desired in the classic hero approach, which Steve does not really adhere to. Of course, things aren’t going to go easy for him and we’ve seen that factor in during the first issue as well as here.
Events have him being attacked by the tactical team and that’s an interesting threat to him since he’s not really a powerful person with the suit, at least with his current understanding of it. Seeing him deal with it in a kind of frantic way since the guys with guns are obviously dangerous is instructive since his first instinct is to flee rather than fight back, but he has the problem of being manhandled by the team and that makes it difficult. We’ve seen how people react when brought into the other space that his suit allows him to enter and we get that once more here as one of them gets sucked in with him, causing a whole lot of concern. The way the soldier reacts isn’t too much of a surprise since the instant cold really does a number and it helps to reinforce that this is definitely an other space. But we also get to see that Steve isn’t a complete ass since he tosses the guy out and makes his own escape, grabbing the damaged drives along the way with a fun little fright mixed in.
Information gained from the drives is minimal but it does open up to some other potential things based on what we get. But it’s mired in mystery at this point and unless I’ve missed a clue from another book, there’s not a lot you can take from this in terms of the larger story just yet. What you can get a feeling from though is the arrival of the three well tailored individuals that have come to Mechatronics to see how their resources are being handled at the facility. this introduces us to the Mark II suits, which don’t seem like the Blackout suit, and it provides them with a great deal of combat skill that lets their base brutality show. That kind of freaks out those that have been managing the facility as they realize the scope of what they’ve been working on, but it mostly serves to paint a picture for what’s to come. Suffice to say, these benefactors come across as your classic bad guys and remind me some of the asses that have been in the Skyman book with that project.
We also get the second installment of the King Tiger backup story here that involves Milo having arrived at his place to get help. That help is going to be forthcoming, but not in the way he expected. As Milo had shown before, he’s got a demon on his shoulder he can’t see but can certainly feel and King Tiger has really started to fill him in on it and the kind of damage it can do to a person. But not surprisingly for someone of the modern age, Milo expected some mysticism but not this level of it. We do get more of Milo’s past that explores how all of this truly happened and the fallout from it in Afghanistan and that definitely brings things into clarity, but not as much as when he gets a mystical mirror put in front of him and he sees the real truth. This storyline is obviously moving at its own pace with few pages but it’s growing on me a bit more here, though King Tiger himself really needed to be fleshed out a bit more for those that are completely new to the character.
While some of it was awkward in that opening issue, Blackout moves forward nicely here as things start to fall into place. It’s not running on all cylinders and I wish it had the full issue to explore things, much as I wish King Tiger had a full issue to explore that storyline as well. The nature of the page breakdown does slow things down a bit but in the end we’re getting a pair of interesting stories that have a lot of potential depending on how far they go and what they do. Scott Travers isn’t the most engaging of characters yet since we’ve seen so little of who he is, more just him reacting to the acquisition of the suit and trying to get more information while being shot at. The clues are growing though and that helps. King Tiger similarly needs more about the title character, but we’ll learn more as Milo spends time there and hopefully finds a way to be healed.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 30th, 2014