This week, it's two-issue number twos from my favorite tie-in comics, Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team and Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter's Teeth. Both are stronger than the sum of their parts, and while there's no Eisners in store for either of these comics, I'd like to sing their praises.
Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #2
Cyberpunk 2077: Trauma Team #2 delivers more trauma. You can probably guess the beats from here. You're introduced to the main character Nadia's lover. Guess what happens to him. You get a No-Prize for getting it right. The team's a hundred floors up in a hostile building, and everyone around them wants them dead. If you're thinking, wait, is this just The Raid, then yes, have your second No-Prize.
What matters is that Cullen Bunn & Co. give the impression of keeping the pace quick, but there's always enough time for a detour, usually paid for in another EMT's blood. Eventually, it'll just be Nadia and Apex, the man who killed Nadia's team. But for now, there's a hundred more floors to go and a lot of people between the trauma team and the exit.
That the straight forward idea works is a testament to the talents of artist Miguel Valderrama and colorist Jason Wordie, who combine well for the frenetic action, happier flashbacks, and the tense negotiation between Nadia and the HR rep that finds Nadia fit for duty.
Vampire: The Masquerade: Winter's Teeth #2
The new girl, Alejandra, receives an official welcome from the Camarilla (the official vampire under government) and an education on good and bad from her sire, Cecilia. The lesson might be a little pat, "Everyone has something they have to feed," after all, it's how one goes about life that matters. Still, ultimately, it detracts from writer Tim Seeley's point: Even obvious targets for feeding have redeeming qualities, and it's important to view those humans as well, humans, and not an ambulatory hamburger.
Setting the story in Minneapolis and St. Paul (the hardest luck saint of 'em all) means that artist Devmalya Pramanik gets to draw all kinds of snow and rain, and if there's a storm, it makes sense; the story's set infamously cold Minneapolis/St. Paul. You get that particular DUN DUN DUN for free. The cliffhanger suggests further monstrous action for issue three, and I'm excited to see Pramanik and colorist Addison Duke cut loose.