7 Psychopaths #2


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7 Psychopaths #2


  • Words: Fabien Vehlmann
  • Art: Sean Phillips
  • Colors: Hubert
  • Publisher: BOOM! Studios
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Jun 23, 2010

Whether it is one of the telltale signs of getting old too early or perhaps something simply lost in translation between the original French work and its BOOM! Studios version here stateside, Fabien Vehlmann and Sean Phillips' 7 Psychopaths #2 is an enjoyable, yet still difficult at times to read installment in this three issue mini-series.

This latest story opens exactly where the first issue ended with Professor Goldschmidt and Colonel Thompson attempting to round out their select seven operatives to invade Nazi Germany and assassinate Adolf Hitler. Their first interview subject turns out to be an undercover researcher investigating mental health facilities, while the second is simply a revenge-addicted warmonger who thrives on violence. In terms of story pacing and plotting, however, this is where the story becomes difficult. Although access to the original French edition limits a comparison of structure and style, some readers may question the organization of this English-language mini-series. Did Vehlmann break his story into these three parts or are the issue-breaks artificially created by BOOM! to fit within the publisher page limits of a twenty-something page comic book? It would appear that the first several pages of issue #2 could have been included in the first and the story could have simply started with the airborne training sequence. Or, perhaps publishing the original in full as a graphic trade would have eliminated any potential for awkward story pauses? Regardless, the flow of the story from this point forward moves in fits and jumps rather than with the seamless progress of the first issue.

Some readers may also find some of the characters less memorable and have to refer back to the issue #1 as a frame of reference solely because of the similarities in style and design for at least two of the male operatives within the group. This is not helped in the least by the panel mistakes on page eleven in regards to the placement of the team onboard the aircraft. The first wide-shot panel clearly shows the alignment and placement of each member; however, while the placement shifts as you move through panels, there is no indication of character movement to reflect this transition. Unfortunately, this awkwardness continues throughout the plane sequence. Even the pages where the parachute survivors attempt to regroup appears somewhat disjointed.

It is only on the last page that Velhmann recovers from these missteps and the story achieves a natural and distinctive break that can be addressed and resolved in issue #3. For a book that was heralded for its irreverent interpretation of World War II in issue #1, there is very little of that same drive in 7 Psychopaths #2.

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