Michael Cray #2
Written by: Bryan Hill
Pencils: N. Steven Harris
Inks: Dexter Vines
Colors: Dearbhla Kelly
Letterer: Simon Bowels
Publisher: DC Comics
Review by Robert Coffil
As much as I view myself as a fan of The Wildstorm and writer Bryan Hill, Michael Cray #1 surprised me with its quality. Michael Cray # 2 continues that pattern of surprises and really holds with the same level of quality as the first.
Michael Cray #2 is such a tightly constructed comic that it works by itself if the reader is familiar with the DC mythos. This issue, on its own, does a great job of building/ gathering the team, setting up a new character in Dr. Shahi, and then executing on the main plot of the issue.
The crux of Michael Cray, as a series, is that Michael Cray, the protagonist, is going to eliminate powerful people who are abusing their respective power/position. In this issue, the person Michael Cray is executing is Oliver Queen, or as you might know him- Green Arrow.
The Wildstorm has flirted with its alternate universe setting by showing the reader logos of Wayne Corp and Korb Tech. While the “parent series” has dallied with this idea, Michael Cray dives headlong into the possibilities. In this universe, Oliver isn’t a benevolent liberal with an agenda to fight crime. In this world, Oliver is a nefarious real estate mogul with a penchant for killing veterans as the deadliest game. The first issue shows that Oliver has unresolved trauma from being on the island. Ollie has PTSD from being on the island. Hill and Harris illustrate a sliver of this by showing Oliver’s inability sleep on mattresses in the first issue. The lessons that this Oliver took from the island where he was stranded made him a mad survivalist rather than a hero. I’ve always been a fan of “Else World” and alternate reality interpretations of characters.
Bryan Hill is one of the rising stars in the comics industry right now. The dialogue in this issue is tight. It’s snarky when it needs to be and brisk elsewhere. Along with that, Hill is able to use dialogue to set up several characters we are introduced to in Michael Cray #2 This issue has a fair bit of action, but the dialogue more than holds up its portion of the comic.
N. Steven Harris’s art doesn’t look like the art in a lot of other DC comics. I’m not a fan of his faces, but I really like his storytelling. What I mean by that is the way his panels draw the reader’s eye from panel to panel is deftly done. Also, his action sequences in this issue are well done and never did I have any issues telling what was going on.
Buy! Michael Cray #2 builds on an excellent debut issue and crafts an interesting and dynamic story.