Writer: Steve Horton
Artist: David Ahn
Publisher: Image Comics
Just finished reading StrongArm #2 and before I get on with a review of this issue, I would like to correct a mistake I made while reading and reviewing the first issue of this series. In reading the first issue I got confused that the two female characters shown in it (with Rob and his brother) were one and the same. As made clear by this monthís installment (and I hope that I am right this time around), in reality they are two different characters. Moreover, a major part of the confusion is that one of them sports some sort of visual aid/camera device and the other (what I know now) has a black, swollen eye, was also cleared.
Continuing right from where the first issue ended, this issue kicks off with Lyndsey (Robís friend) realizing who it was who had broken into her house and was literally strangling the life out of her. Thankfully enough, she makes it out alive and as we learn, Rob might not be quite in control of his actions. It seems that the arms have some sort of sentience similar to Dr. Octopusís arms in Spider-Man 2. Not only that but being the weapons of destruction that they are, they also want to do away with Lyndsey and it is taking everything that Rob has to keep them from doing it.
Meanwhile, while Rob is both scaring and wowing Lyndsey (being the gearhead that she is), two developments occur, one of which will (hopefully) come into play in the next issue. The second development is the discovery of the dead body of the Overlord cop that Rob killed with a bat, the one who originally owned the arms. Whatever it is that they want Rob dead for, the discovering authorities donít report the find to their senior but rather call in a security team to learn where Rob is. I take they triangulate Robís position from some sort of a tracking device built into the arms. The other development occurs during the "resistance" plotline with Robís brother, which basically involves him and his team making a getaway from the authorities after having done whatever it that they did.
Back to Rob and Lyndsey and the Overlord lackeys who find them. In between there is also a flashback involving the two where we learn more about what their relationship is (or isnít). Although Rob saves Lyndsey (then again they werenít after her but just him), he escapes with her. What he doesnít consider in the heat of the moment is that he has been shot, possibly multiple times. The issue ends with him succumbing to the blood loss and falling down unconscious, and that too in the middle of nowhere.
In my review for the first issue I said that the best thing about StrongArm #1 was the artwork. That is still the case here and not only because of the shortcomings in the story/writing. The characters still look and move a bit too young for their ages, but I guess that is to be expected with this style of art. However, what wins me over are the action scenes and even more than that the emotions conveyed by the charactersí facial expressions and eyes. A point though for the flashback scene involving Rob and Lyndsey: in the panel where they hug each other Lyndsey has no engagement ring on her finger, but she wore one just a few panels before. Is this just a slip-up or did she remove the ring?
Conclusion: Although it still feels disjointed in places, and although I would have much rather have half of the previous issue as a issue #0 and the other half as part of a first issue (along with about 2/3rd of this one), StrongArm #2 deals with quite a few queries and confusions from the issue it follows. That said, I canít help but feel that this story has been written as a graphic novel (which it will read better as) and then just split up into five parts in order to be released as a monthly serial.
You can find more reviews by Bruce Logan at www.xcave.net
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