Like building a myth, page by page, Seven Secrets #2 is an amazing sophomore issue that manages to improve upon the sterling work done by its predecessor.
A young child named Caspar is the child of a forbidden love, the direct scion of a secret order dedicated to keeping seven things safe and sequestered from the world at large. Bright-eyed, clever, and open to new ideas, Caspar grows up under the tutelage of some of the world's most dangerous people. Gaining a host of tactically useful abilities (sword fighting, rhetoric, parkour, stealth, et cetera), Caspar nevertheless had to suffer under the weight of the insecure and the stupid (as many gifted children do). Still, the storybook nature of the varied teachers who come to visit Caspar are brilliantly depicted by the visual storytelling from Daniele Di Nicuolo, Walter Baiamonte, Katia Ranalli, and Ed Dukeshire. At the same time, Tom Taylor's enthralling script sidesteps cliches into being iconic (which is no easy task).
There are layers of subtlety underneath the derring-do that are particularly effective. For example, the physical differences between Caspar and his rival classmate Titus make for a pointed metaphor in this day and age. The patience this story shows in a silent glance between Faolan and Radha is visual poetry. There are a number of great monists here, and each character has room to be distinguished and interesting.
This original idea is very, very engaging, and by using the narrative framing device from Saga (or The Wonder Years or How I Met Your Mother, depending on your personal inclination), the foreshadowing gives this a delicious bittersweet edge. There's not a single panel of this comic book that goes sideways, and that is indeed an amazing accomplishment. RATING: BUY.
Seven Secrets #2
By Tom Taylor, Daniele Di Nicuolo
After a deadly attack on the Order, their youngest member Caspar must step forward to keep the world safe from the Seven Secrets with the power to destroy it. But surviving The Trials doesn't mean just becoming the next Holder of a great Secret – it also carries dangers that will change Caspar's life in unimaginable ways.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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