Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spontaneous #2

Written by Joe Harris
Art by Brett Weldele

It's been a while since Free Comic Book Day, so I sort of forgot about this title, but was very pleased to see it scheduled for release this week.  The way this issue was structured made it very easy to slide right back in to the story, which is pretty interesting.

Melvin's father died of spontaneous human combustion (SHC) when Melvin was a small child.  Since then, he's made a study of the phenomenon, and has become very good at predicting who may be a candidate (for reasons which start to become clear over the course of this issue).  He's partnered up with a freelance (read unemployed) journalist, who is questioning whether he should simply predict SHCs, or try to help people.

Harris is setting up a very compelling little story, with hints of cover-up and collusion at some level, and lots of great character work.  Melvin is a pretty complicated guy, which Harris suggests very well.  There are a couple of bizarre elements in here, such as the police chief who brings her young daughter to work with her without explanation, but I am definitely engrossed by this story.  I love the Erin Brokovich references.

Brett Weldele deserves a lot of credit for this book working so well.  Like he did with electric light in The Light, he makes excellent use of colour to convey the harshness and danger of the fires.  It's surprising to me just how much Weldele has grown on me as an artist - I pretty much hated his work on Julius back in the day.

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