Chicago is burning. With the death of Ortiz at the hands of rival gang leader Drey, the gangs, the citizens, and the law enforcement have turned the town into a warzone. Falcon and Patriot work to calm things down while the police stand back and watch their city crumble. However, they are only two men standing against legions of ordinary people gone mad.
Meanwhile, the revealed Blackheart shows his ambitions and plans to Drey, his acolyte in this plan. Blackheart has a story to tell, and overthrowing Chicago is the first chapter in his tale.
Adding a specific ambition to Blackheart is actually a small yet significant way to make him more of a character in this story. He's not just evil because he's Mephisto's son with raging daddy issues; he wants to sit at the table of the gods and tell them about how he overthrew the Earth when all others failed. Now, this still stems from raging daddy issues, but it's still something more than "my dad is the Satan analogue of this shindig."
The scenes in Chicago are harrowing and ripped for the headlines (those two details feed into one another, if you couldn't guess). Something notable is how claustrophobic Joshua Cassara and Rachelle Rosenberg make the setting feel. The city is burning, and the smoke keeps you from seeing open streets and grand skyscrapers. It's all blaze and ash. It adds to the intensity and fondly reminds me on Ed Brubaker's Mad Bomb arc from his later Captain America material.
While I do praise the characterization of Blackheart, his plan doesn't make a lot of sense.
(Spoilers) Blackheart is standing in as the mayor of Chicago in this story, and I'm not sure how that leads to world domination. Coaxing a city into eating itself alive just seems like sowing general chaos, not a part of an elaborate plan. I get the feeling that he intends to "step in and save the city" and use this to campaign towards senator, president, et cetera. Still, you would think the son of Mephisto would have a more impressive and direct plan than this.
The chemistry between Falcon and Patriot remains charming and lovable. There is a lot of really dry humor in this comic, and it generally lands well. Doctor Voodoo makes an appearance as well, and he and Sam have some great conversations.
As mentioned Cassara and Rosenberg put in truly atmospheric work in this comic. Falcon has a really specific and effective aesthetic this time around, and I hope it's allowed to keep it for some time to come.
Falcon #2 continues off of the first issue's promising start with aplomb. It's another intense and powerful read with great characters, incredible art, and a lot to say about the world. I highly recommend this one. Give it a read.