Sunday, July 22, 2012

Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #2 (of 4)

This tale of Silk Spectre as a girl (well, a teenager) has her on the run from her domineering mother and finding a new life San Francisco in the 1960s.

It's a fun, free-spirited story (written by Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner) that has her leading a double life: by day a hippie chick, living with her boyfriend and some other artistic friends, going to parties and having fun; at night she dons a costume and fights the bad guys using the fighting skills her mother taught.

It feels, for all the world, like a really well-done comic from the late '60s (without being retro). The stakes are small, but the story is tightly drawn and loaded with characters you care about.

There's an odd side-story about attempts to reinvigorate music sales via a designer drug, and it's fun to see icons make guest appearances (like Frank Sinatra and the Beatles, though they're never named).

But that part of the story is mostly silly, though it does provide a good cliffhanger.

But the star of the show, as always, is the artwork by Amanda Conner. Here she leans heavily on the nine-panel grid (as used so effectively by Dave Gibbons in the original Watchmen series), and fills it with wonderful, expressive characters, animated crowd scenes and some hard-hitting action sequences.

Lots of fun, very enjoyable, and a real blast from the past.

Grade: A-


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