The Mall #2
Writer: Don Handfield & James Haick III
Artist: Rafael Louriero
Colorist: Dijjo Lima
Letterer: DC Hopkins
Maturity Rating: Teen
Publisher: Scout Comics
Release Date: September 12, 2018
Life is never going to be the same again for Diego, Dallas, and Lena. High school starts tomorrow and they have to hide a dead body!
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Learning to Be a Gangster in The Mall #2
Diego (the Nerd), Dallas (the Jock) and Lena (the Rich Girl) are three high-schoolers in the 1980s with nothing in common, or so they thought. That is, until they got a mysterious letter about a “scholarship” they got at the local mall. That is where they met Mr. Cardini, brother to Gino Cardini, a recently-deceased mob boss. You see, Gino, as they say in The Mall #1, “liked to spread his love around,” and Diego, Dallas, and Lena are half-siblings!
If that was not shocking enough for the teenagers, he also left them stores at the mall. Diego got the piano store, Lena the pet store and Dallas the shoe store. Now the kids have to make a decision: do they take the stores—which would involve them in organized crime—or get out? Too bad they did not have long to decide, as a mob hitman showed up at the mall, and the group, while defending themselves, made him fall to his death. Now in The Mall #2, it is the first day of school and class 101 for organized crime is disposing of a dead body!
For the most part, I am really enjoying the story in The Mall #2. Don Handfield and James Haick III are doing a fantastic job of fleshing out these three main characters throughout these first two issues. They all are very well developed; each one has a unique backstory and is very interesting in their own right. Dallas not only the jock but being raised by a single mother and wanting to help her out. Diego the nerd but kind of ashamed of his hardworking father and his heart breaking that his mom apparently had an affair. Lena the rich princess that her stepfather is very very creepy, and people not taking her seriously. Now they have to deal with not only getting through high school but also the organized crime business.
The core concept of The Mall is very interesting. Having these high-schoolers not only deal with the regular hard aspect of life but now this craziness happening. It is a promise of possible untold amounts of money. But what will they have to give up to get it?
The dialogue at some points is a little “iffy” in The Mall #2; some of it feels a little forced at times. It’s not all like that, but some scenes feel a little off because of the dialogue. Again, I also don’t need to be reminded by characters that it’s the 1980s. The first issue had a major problem with this, The Mall #2 fixes that, mostly. It seems like it would be easier and more subtle just to put the year up with the text of the location in scenes and not have characters specifically say “it’s the ’80s”.
Rafael Loureiro again does a pretty solid job on art in The Mall #2. He has a good style for this series, well-detailed characters, and some great facial expressions/acting from the characters. He also does great designs for the characters; the clothing and haircuts fit their personalities and the ’80s era and he helps make them all very unique individuals. He adds in some good background detail as well, that helps fill out the world of The Mall. Dijjo Lima’s colors help set that 1980s vibe for the series. Everything is very bright and vibrant and it also gives the series a “youthful” feel to it.
The art is good, but it is also nothing spectacular either. It is solid comic book art, but at the same time nothing really stands out as stellar or anything to really point out in The Mall #2.
I am really liking the story in The Mall #2. After setting everything up in the first issue the writers seem to be getting into these characters and the plot of the series. I enjoy how in depth the three main characters are and how well rounded in two issues they have become. The dialogue continues to need a little work, though. The art in The Mall #2, once again, is solid comic book art and the team does a good job of catching the mood and vibe of the series; it is not the greatest thing ever, but again, good comic book art. This series and story feel like they have a lot of potential and I am excited to see where the story goes from here.
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