Hypernaturals continues to showcase the outstanding writing and plotting abilities of it's architects, Abnett & Lanning. Artists Brad Walker & Tom Derenick do outstanding work, creating characters and other worldly settings that remind the reader of the best work of Byrne & Robertson while never creeping into outright copying or parody. The creative team on this book is just doing everything right, from the back matter to the flashbacks to the introductory screen, nothing in Hypernaturals is done off the cuff and it certainly shows.
Issue 2 begins to provide some of the much needed context for the world of the Hypernaturals and Quantinium. Not only do we get to see some flashbacks to the (in story) fan favorite Hypernaturals team, the 19th iteration, but we get to see Bewilder and Clone 45 at the very beginning of their doomed love affair. This issue does wonders for opening up even more dimensions into these already complex characters. Bewilder has been hard to pin down, her emotional distress at the loss of her Hypernatural beau, made her seem somewhat cold compared to the broken wreck of a man Clone 45 has become in the wake of their love and team. Here however we get to see them not only falling for each other, but we see at their reunion a slight rekindling of that chemistry, whether Bewilder is even aware of it herself.
The cliff hanger from Issue 1 is resolved as well, with the new new emergency Hypernaturals team working together as best they can to defeat the Flesh Mobs. We get to see the two newcomers in action and rather than rise to the challenge they behave exactly like two people who weren't chosen for the main team for very good reasons. Halfshell unleashes like mad and Shoal totally breaks down. If not for Thinkwell's "Thinkblot", (an inky line that conveys information directly to the brain) Shoal wouldn't have been able to break through his justifiably uncontrollable fear to help dismantle the Flesh Mobs at the atomic level.
Why is Shoal's fear so justifiable? Because what's happening here more and more is looking like the work of ultra-smart, ultra-bad, ultra-villain Sublime who is supposed to be rotting away in a cell somewhere following his attempt at killing the computer God, the Quantinuum. That's another important plot point that gets revealed this ish, what exactly Sublime was doing when he almost took down the entire team and what exactly did he do to Stellerator. Suddenly Sublime is starting to look more like a misunderstood rebel, something in the Lucifer category of refusing to bend the knee.
When you bring in reality warping shards and villains who operate several levels above the smartest hero you can begin to understand why the notion that Sublime is somehow orchestrating this latest bit of badness from his cell is so disturbing to the denizens of this 'verse. At the same time, it makes me wonder whether or not the Hypernaturals actually did in fact defeat him and how much of what they all believe happened is just what they were made to believe happened.
This issue also lets us see a bit of the corporate reach in this world of super-heroics as Halfshell refuses to play ball with her sponsors and takes off into the city with nervous newbie Shoal trailing behind her. Also Clone 45s new post-Hypernaturals post is cleaning chemical pipes, even in a bright shiny future of superpowers and singularity Gods someone still has to do the crap jobs that are too dangerous for machines.
An outstanding issue that keeps the pace up, keeps the characters developing and keeps the story threads unfurling all while showing us more and more glimpses of this Utopian like future where the cracks are big enough to write inky equations on the air in them and nothing is what it seems. A cosmic comic for now, don't wait, start reading.