Getting too close to basics made this plot more basic than one would like as the whimsy remains but the urgency falls by the wayside.
After the breathtaking debut issue, this installment of the new espionage send-up takes its foot off the accelerator and coasts, which is a troubling choice for a four-issue miniseries. There are still plenty of entertaining elements to work with here, but where the first issue astonished, this one merely suffices.
Nora Freud is a spy, very much in the Michael Westen sense of constant self-reflection and engaged in random mayhem. Her sister Connie — who has an associate's degree in marine cryptozoology from a community college in Denver, and you'd better not forget it — has turned up on the spy-heavy island in the Bermuda Triangle where Nora is trying to get her professional and personal life together. A young German tourist has gone missing and it looks like murderous mermaids are to blame … but they're not even in season!
Spy Island #2 has the dash of the randomness that made Ludocrats so fun in its early issues and the aforementioned Burn Notice influence (with maybe a little Casanova thrown in for kicks), there are surely stylistic and thematic elements to enjoy here (like the Call of the Kraken). Likewise, the artwork from Lia Miternique, Elise McCall, Rachelle Rosenberg, Joe Caramagna has a great sense of visual design (complete down to the fake "ads" in the book) and can set the scene well.
Sadly, there's just not much happening this issue, and that self-reflection turned into navel-gazing in a way that means the pacing has to pick up the next issue to lead to the finale. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
By Chelsea Cain, Elise McCall, Rachelle Rosenberg, Lia Miternique
Super-agent Nora Freud is fine, thank you. Yes, she's stuck on an island in the Bermuda Triangle without a clear mission. She's running low on sunscreen. Her sister has just arrived. And the body of a man Nora recently assassinated just floated in with the tide. But. She. Has. This. Totally. Under. Control. Spy Island is a four-issue special limited series by the creative team that brought you Man-Eaters.
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.
Plus, get free weekly web comics on the Operative Network at http://bit.ly/combatshaman.