Heavy #2 Review: The Odd Allure of a Psychopath

Heavy #2
9/10
REVIEW: Heavy #2 from Max Bemis & Eryk Donovan skillfully puts the reader in Bill's shoes as he's swept up in the charm of a psychopath.

Heavy #2 continues writer Max Bemis, and artist Eryk Donovan's unique depiction of a dead man named Bill tasked with becoming a Heavy, an assassin who travels through alternate realities to punish the worst versions of people in those realities. The first issue ended with Bill paired up with someone who he'd rather see obliterated from existence. How does it play out?

Heavy #2 cover. Credit: Vault Comics
Heavy #2 cover. Credit: Vault Comics

Heavy #2 does a great job putting the reader in the lead's shoes. Bill is tasked with being partners with Slim, the psychopathic, "covetous, gratingly pansexual Irish bastard" who paid to him Bill and his wife killed, and it starts about how you'd expect. Bill loathes Slim for what he has done and who he is but, as the issue progresses and the two go on their many blood-soaked missions, both Bill and the reader begin to be swept up in Slim's charm. It's not just charm, though, working to make the reader morbidly, perversely curious about this character. Slim is a self-aware psychopath, which leads to a revelation about the nature of his death and new "life" in Heavy #2. This sort of introspection we see from a man who can act out with such hardcore violence creates an interesting, oddly balanced character.

Donovan's artwork is the best of his career, taking the characters from mind-bending scene to mind-bending scene, with every setting and situation loaded with intricate details. Comics art like this will reward repeat reads, that's for sure. There's a line of dialogue that sums up the artwork with a bit of a wink at the reader, with Slim saying of the issue's villain's work: "Wow. What a set-piece. Whoever this guy is, he loves the goddamn drama." What's true about Donovan's work, though, as well as Cris Peter's colors and Taylor Esposito's bombastic letters, is that the overall look Heavy is big on the action, setting, and drama. Still, it also captures the minutiae of character interaction with nuance and attention to detail.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.