Animosity Vol. 2 Review: This Has Been My Albatross

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After finishing their ride with the humpback whale, Jesse, Bethesda, Sandor, and the rest continue their trek to California to find Jesse's brother.

Shortly after, they begin to hear rumors of a flying, fire-breathing dragon. They are attacked soon after, and members of their flock are taken by scarecrow-garbed scavengers.

On top of that, Jesse is plagued by dreams and illness. Can her flock survive the dragon?

Animosity Vol. 2 cover by Rafael de la Torre and Marcelo Maiolo
Animosity Vol. 2 cover by Rafael de la Torre and Marcelo Maiolo

I've had this one on my docket for months now. I kept trying to finish it but, holidays, cons, solicits, and the weekly releases kept me from it.

I've wanted to get this one done. I've been reluctant to take on anymore trade paperbacks. I received this as a review copy before the book was even out. It's been almost two months since it was released, but today, on New Year's Eve after a night of writing up the year-end comics lists, I've read this sucker and am ready to review it.

And thank God it was a good read. After Nightwing and Amazing Spider-Man, I couldn't take another disappointment.

Not only was it good, it was great. I absolutely loved it.

Jesse, Bethesda, Sandor, Potter, Pallas, Kyle, Zarzamora, and the rest are each given distinct and wonderful personalities. Bethesda and Sandor are the de facto parents of Jesse. Jesse herself is an eternal optimist who wants to see good done in the world. Zarzamora is a goat embittered by the horror he's seen. Pallas is a quiet voice of reason. Kyle is odd and mysterious. Potter is an endearing if foolish elk.

I can't emphasize enough how lovable Sandor and Bethesda are. These two characters are so endearing, and they bring a lot to Animosity.

You want to see so much good happen for these characters. Some does, but the world is cruel just as often. The conflict with the Dragon and its followers shows how complicated this can all get and how the distinctions between good and evil are just as blurred as ever.

The opening scene with the krill oddly summarizes this theme quite succinctly as well. I won't spoil it, but it shows the tragedy inherent in this world where everything has a conscience, speech, and higher thinking.

Animosity touches on just about every question a premise like this could raise. Is predation evil in this world? What do carnivores do? Do animals have souls? Does sentience and conscience automatically equal a soul?

It doesn't give short or trite answers to those questions either. It ponders them deeply, each character giving their own point of view. The comic takes it as read that animals and humans are equal with conscience being given to the former, and that thought informs a lot of what it has to say on these topics. It's ironically quite humanitarian in this regard, too.

Rafael de la Torre's artwork is perfectly suited for this comic. It's expressive yet subtle. The world is textured and full. He can have seemingly expressionless animals convey a ton of emotion in small ways. On the whole, his work here is perfect for what it needs to accomplish.

Rob Schwager's color art is varied and deep. He plays well with both darker and lighter shades, He's skilled at using gradient to imply depth. His work here is great.

Animosity Vol. 2 took me a while to get around to reviewing, but it didn't disappoint and was worth the wait. Marguerite Bennett, Rafael de la Torre, Rob Schwager, and company have put together an amazing comic book here. It's full of heart, personality, and thought. The art is great, and the overall book is among Aftershock's best offerings. Pick this one up. I highly recommend it.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.
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