Plot: Our genius scientist in a hitman’s body finds out identity might be more slippery than he thinks.
Comments: This issue starts with a confusing scene--a character who knows he’s in trouble spends his last night having (what’s for the reader) graphic, joyless sex with a prostitute. We’re supposed to feel sympathy (I guess) for him when he pleads for a chance to call his family one last time, but we’ve already seen that there’s very little reason to care about this character from the start.
This kind of thing happens quite often in Existence 2.0: characters acting like amoral jackasses and then getting melancholy about what they’ve done or what’s to come. It’s all very Michael Bay, with the actions being played big and the emotions being played small.
But it’s not really the depth we’re interested in with this one, it’s the strange twists and turns the story of a scientist transferred into the body of a bald, bad killer takes. And the one presented midway through this issue is a bit of a doozy--an “everything you know is (possibly) wrong” kind of twist. Writer Nick Spencer is honest with this twist. It was teased a bit in the first issue, so there’s no use complain about him not playing fair.
Sylvester, still in Marco’s body, is on the trail of whoever put out the hit on him in his original body, hoping to find who kidnapped his daughter. This means we get to meet his mistress, his business partner, and his bitter ex. The last brings up the tonal inconsistency I mentioned earlier as panic over the disappearance of their daughter is replaced by hot, sweaty lust, then back again. It’s kind of tough to get a read on this kind of thing, but after a time it fades into the background.
Because of the aforementioned twist. But I won’t say anything more about other than to point out that it’s kind of obvious when you think about it and it’s kind of obvious that our lead may be on the right path in spite of what the story wants him to believe.
The art of Ron Salas continues to be strong, with well-illustrated moments of visceral action and violence. He’s definitely a talent to watch in the future.
Final Word: Some weird tonal hiccups keep this one from getting a higher rating, but it continues to be a big, ballsy summer blockbuster.
If you liked this review, be sure to check out more of the author’s work at Monster In Your Veins
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