Writing - 7.5/10
Art - 7/10
Overall - 7.3/10
User Review( votes)
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Germán Peralta
Colorist: Miroslav Mrva
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Maturity Rating: Teen +
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release: October 23, 2019
The hunt for the Vridai continues as our team tries to clear their names and discover who they have taken over next.
Hell up in Vegas in Strikeforce #2
Marvel’s all-new covert ops team is back in Strikeforce #2. Though they are an unlikely team brought together by circumstances beyond their control, they are here to fight back. Blade, Wiccan, Bucky Barnes, Jessica Drew, Angela, and Spectrum have all been framed by the Vridai, who are shapeshifters that for some reason took the forms of these heroes and stole a deadly virus. Blade has dealt with their kind before, so he wants to keep their presence under wraps. That means no Avengers, no Defenders, no other heroes; just these people must know.
They found the Vridai leader but things got strange, yes even stranger than plant-based shapeshifters. Daimon Hellstrom showed up, but Blade killed him thinking he was a Vridai impostor. Now with a dead body on their hands, the team heads to Satana’s Las Vegas club. How will the daughter of Satan react to her dead brother? And have the Vridai already visited Sin City?
I was pretty harsh in my review of Strikeforce #1, I really wasn’t into it, but true to my word I said I would come back for Strikeforce #2 and I am glad I did. Tini Howard feels a little more “settled” in this issue. It has a nice straightforward plot and theme going on. The “everyone has a quick one-liner or ‘spunky'” comment is also toned down a bit as well. It is still there, but it feels more appropriate and actually funny in this issue when it doesn’t happen as often.
This issue also has a nice horror tone in it that I did not feel in the previous issue. Howard does a good job of setting this ominous feeling that prevails throughout the issue. Howard also plays a lot with the doppelganger situation to some delightful twist and turns throughout Strikeforce #2. She also seems to have a better feel for all the characters in this issue and the dialogue shows that as well.
The art in Strikeforce #2 also feels more “settled” as well. Germán Peralta does a great job of the characters in “civilian clothing”, they all look very natural (well Blade and Angela for go club attire). I do still wish there was a little more “energy” or a sense of movement in Peralta’s work, but I immensely enjoyed all the great details in this issue.
Peralta does a fantastic job of detailing Satana’s Vegas club (side note: I almost forgot Vegas was literally taken over by Hell in the Damnation storyline like two years ago so props for some great continuity in this issue). From dazzling staircases to detailed club-goers, Peralta does a superb job of bringing the story to life visually and engulfing the reader into the world.
You won’t hear this often but I think the art in Strikeforce #2 is helped by the change in colorist. Especially noting the colorist was Jordie Bellaire. She is obviously a hall of fame artist but I didn’t feel her work really fit with this story. Miroslav Mrva takes over in this issue and it gels well with Germán Peralta work. The colors have a nice “rough” dark texture to it that works supremely well with the tone and theme of the series. I personally think it fits a lot better with the overall tone of the series.
Strikeforce #2 felt more “complete” than the first issue. The writing is a little tighter and feels more “comfortable” with these characters and the direction of the story. The art also conveys a more settled approach as well. The change in colorist for me really helped the series find that horror tone. While not perfect, Strikeforce #2 greatly improved upon the first issue and the more I think about Strikeforce #2 the more I like it. This is a great cast of different Marvel heroes and the creative team seems to be settling into this series quite well after the mixed first issue.
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