Saturday, April 22, 2017

Royal City #2 Review and *SPOILERS* (Image)

Writer: Jeff LemireArtist: Jeff LemireCover Price: $3.99Release Date: April 19, 2017Publisher: Image Comics

With Jeff Lemire’s Royal City #2 we return to one of my most anticipated new series’ of one of my favorite writers. If the first issue would be considered more of a family fair with getting to know the struggles of the family as a whole, the second issue promises to be more of a personal approach with us learning more about the individual family members and their individual struggles.

Picking up immediately where the last issue left off, Lemire takes no time before cutting a sudden left as we shift out of the family problems as a whole and take a closer look at Pat and his personal issues. I like this sudden switch a lot because Lemire shows he’s having fun with it, we not only cut away from the previous issues’ ending, but Lemire also throws in a momentary question on if this series is suddenly going to take a sci-fi turn. It doesn’t, but the fun of making it seem like it for even just a second, was enjoyed none the less.

We learn that besides still coping with the loss of his brother, struggling with writer’s block, and coming back to his long left home town, that Pat is also in the midst of marital problems. We get a little insight into Pat’s relationship along with their previous problems, but mostly we get the idea that just about nothing is going great for Pat at the current moment.

After a small time with Pat we move to the perpetual screw up Richie. He and his long dead brother are casually having a conversation in the urinal of the local “Fuel Station” when Richie is suddenly accosted by some biker thugs. Apparently Richie is in some debt and currently behind which may have slipped by a little longer if he wasn’t currently drinking in the gangs hang spot. After some swirly style bullying, along with Trainspotting style visions, Richie learns he has a week to come up with two thousand dollars.

Next we get some time between Pat and his mother. The conversation comes off as mostly strained, and a bit uncomfortable, but we get a little more insight into the mother’s perspective on Pat and his relationship and Pat’s brother Richie. We don’t get a whole lot from this scene but it does fill us on that Pat and his mother don’t seem to have much to talk about outside of his marriage and his book, both of which Pat would rather avoid.

We get a couple more scenes going back and forth between Pat and Richie as they both struggle in their separate ways, which eventually leads to them meeting on the side of the road. Other than that not a whole lot really happens in this issue. We learn of two characters personal struggles, but they don’t necessarily seem to add to the already struggles they were dealing with.

Richie being a screw up and alcoholic that is avoiding work and contact with his family, and Pat with his struggling writing along with him returning to a town he left behind. Adding one more struggle to both parties shoulders doesn’t give me the sense that much has really been added. These characters are still struggling separately and still seemingly struggling with the loss of their brother and the strained relations of their family.

Overall I was pretty down with this issue after the first. What Lemire does is still great in the emotion and the art that conveys right along with it, but I expect that to a certain extent. With this issue it honestly felt like nothing much was added and nothing really progressed and that was after doing a complete 180 from the previous issue’s ending.

Bits and Pieces:

Royal City does what Lemire does best, emotion and the sense of loneliness, but as a standalone issue there is not much here beyond those aspects. The story doesn’t progress much beyond focusing in on more personal issues as opposed to the more family wide approach of the previous issue.


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