Written by Royden Lepp
Art by Royden Lepp
Release Date: October 16, 2012

This follow up volume to the fantastic Rust: Visitor In The Field is being released as digital chapters, but I had the lucky fortune of reading the entire thing…and I was astounded.

Royden Lepp has solidified himself as a master storyteller with this volume. With a new name in the game some could argue this is luck, but this Rust series is so masterfully crafted the word luck cannot be thrown around. The first volume is brilliant, and Volume 2 is even better. With Secrets of the Cell Lepp’s storytelling is more confident and layered, full of tension, intrigue,  and, most importantly, a lot of heart. We don’t fully know the motivations of all the characters involved at this point, but Lepp is doing a great job of making each one of them human and relatable. This is more than an action book about a character with a rocket pack: this is about adversity, understanding, and acceptance. With the events of the latter half of the book, these characters are about to undergo dramatic shifts and I found myself furiously rifling to the next page to see how this was going to play out. What struck me as I read this story was how accessible it is to readers of any age. The current comics climate does not cater very well to young readers, let alone with quality products, and I am elated to say I would have no problem letting my kid read Rust. Hell, I’ll be happy to read it with her! This story is so well written that every reader can find worth in it, and that is far easier said than done.

Lepp pulls double duty with his creation and is artist on the title as well. His art is stronger on this volume than the previous one, not that it has ever been bad, but it reflects a greater comfort with the scenery and people. There is some more high-octane action in this book as well, and Lepp does a great job of letting his pencil do the talking in a lot of cases. Those “silent” moments have a lot of impact in this book and result in a great pace and flow. There is more said in many of the silent panels of this book than in ones filled with dialogue, and I think Lepp is one of those creators who could do a great job with a dialogue free book. This volume of Rust shows the storytelling skills he has as both a writer and artist, and as a reader we reap the rewards.

This is an excellent graphic novel and part of what is shaping up to be a truly epic series. Lepp’s storytelling is fantastic and this is definitely a candidate for book of the year. Do yourself a favour and check this book out, I would be shocked if you were disappointed.

Verdict: 10/10


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