Review: ISOLA #2

Written by Brenden Fletcher, Karl Kerschl
Art by Karl Kerschl, Msassyk, Aditya Bidikar
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: May 9, 2018

The fantasy epic Isola continues with its second issue, giving readers just the smallest glimpse at details of what the hell is going on, while keeping so much back story gloriously hidden.

I. Have. So. Many. Questions…and I think that is what I like best about how Fletcher and Kerschl are letting this story unravel. Readers have been dropped into the middle of what appears to be a fantasy dystopia with a protagonist who seems to be hanging on for dear life and an almost electric tiger who is a Queen? This is all so wildly crazy, I absolutely adore it. Fletcher and Kerschl do a great job of giving readers enough detail that this story actually feels cohesive and like there is planning, but so much is unanswered right now that we feel as out of our element and as confused as Rook appears to be. You want to talk living on uneasy ground as a reader, we truly have no idea who can be trusted, who is dangerous or what the stakes presently are….and that’s just plain fun.

Rook’s charm as a protagonist is a huge hook for this series thus far, and it only grows with this second issue. The whole concept of her companion, the Queen, is enough to have my attention, but finding out what Rook is fighting for and what her connection is to this adventure has me absolutely captivated. It is obvious that she does what is right, as evidenced by several plot points in this issue, but what is driving her and how she ties into this apocalyptic kingdom is tantalizing. You can almost feel the fun Fletcher and Kerschl are having as they play with readers like a cat owner teasing their pet with a laser pointer. Just when we think we’re getting somewhere, something else that is wild comes along and makes me crave more knowledge about this world. If you like a good slow burn fantasy, Isola is certainly for you.

Karl Kerschl and Msassyk build a fantasy world that is lush and easy on the eyes. Kerschl’s work is crisp, engaging and has a cartoonish element to it that is exactly what I want from a fantasy tale like this. Msassyk’s colour work is eye popping, her work with the Queen in particular making the character leap from every page. The lush landscapes drive home the “fantasy” feel of the comic and I love how she does not hesitate to go wild with colour. This is not a dreary apocalyptic book, this is a technicolor, magical world where we truly do not know yet what is possible, probable, real, or a dream. Each page is truly beautiful and this is one of those comics that a person can revisit time and time again to take in the wonder of what this art team is producing.

I loved Isola #1, and issue #2 has made me rabid for information about this world, what has happened and what the hell is going on now. I NEED MORE ISOLA AND I NEED IT RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW. The writing has me hooked, the art is beautiful and I can’t wait to see where they take it next.

The Verdict: 10/10


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