Comic Review – Elswhere #2

Amelia Earhart is having the mother of all bad days.

It started when she and her navigator, Fred, started having engine trouble over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to fly around the world. Forced to use their parachutes, Amelia had Fred jump first only to see him being drawn into some strange flash of light! Amelia barely had time to bail out of the plane herself, before she too was pulled into the portal.

Strung up in her cord lines from a tree, Amelia was saved by two men, Cort and Tavel. It was obvious to look at them that they weren’t exactly human, let alone American! They, in turn, were confused about her insistence that they were speaking English when it was perfectly clear she was speaking their language or her ignorance regarding Lord Kragen – the tyrant whose dungeons Cort and Tavel had just escaped!

As the three traded information, two interesting facts emerged. Just before they liberated themselves, Cort and Tavel had heard mention of one of the “planes” that Amelia spoke of flying like a dragon. Apparently Lord Kargen’s forces had captured a plane as well as a man with skin like Amelia’s.

The two rebels proved surprisingly agreeable to helping Amelia break back into the dungeon to rescue her friend. The bad news is “the man like you” turned out not to be Fred, but a man named D.B. Cooper. The worse news is that Cooper claimed to be from 1971 and that as far as the world knew, Amelia Earhart was lost at sea back in the 1930s…

Elsewhere #2 continues to weave the spell-binding fantasy epic promised by its first issue. This chapter begins to move beyond the base premise of the series – Imagine Amelia Earhart as John Carter – and starts to develop itself into something with a little more depth than a one sentence synopsis. The pulp influence remains strong throughout and fans of classic action/adventure tales will find a lot to enjoy in this series.

The highlight of this issue is the interplay between Amelia and her new companion, D.B. Cooper. There is an immediate tension between the two, with D.B. questioning Amelia’s priorities in the wake of everything that has happened. Amelia doesn’t get a chance to question D.B. about his past (not that he’d give a straight answer) but those who know their aviation history can see that pairing these two together cannot end well.

The artwork by Sumeyye Kesgin and Ron Riley proves as astonishing as in the first issue. Kesgin has established the world of Elsewhere as being truly unworldly, with people that look vaguely humanoid and animals that are oddly familiar. It is the similarities that are as jarring as the differences and truly make it seem like we are looking upon an alien world with a unique aesthetic. Ron Riley further adds life to this world with his vivid colors.

The only real weakness to this issue is the sedate pace. Writer Jay Faerber takes his time in establishing the world and the protagonists so there’s relatively little in the way of action apart from the sequence where D.B. and Amelia escape from the dungeon. Thankfully, the cliff-hanger conclusion promises action aplenty when Elsewhere #3 opens.

9/10


 Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight. Read his review of Elsewhere #1 here.

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