Archenemies #2


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Archenemies #2


  • Words: Drew Melbourne
  • Art: Yvel Guichet
  • Inks: Joe Rubinstein
  • Colors: Rick Hiltbrunner
  • Story Title: What Goes Around
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 3, 2006

Vincent unleashes his scheme to kill his roommate Ethan. Will this war accidentally reveal secret identities on both sides?

As Archenemies rolls on with its second issue, writer Drew Melbourne continues to prove that this title is one of the most unique currently on the stands. There are superheroes, supervillains, roommate arguments, girlfriend arguments, death, destruction, and a secret identity crisis (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Vincent (in his alter ego of Underlord) is finally ready to start making good on his threat to kill Ethan. Ethan, however, has just made co-worker Trish Darrow his girlfriend, which complicates his life when the attacks from Underlord make him think that his nemesis has discovered his secret identity! As Ethan tries to avoid the death traps and figure out how Underlord is targeting him, Vincent struggles with his schemes...and Ethan as a roommate. Little does either one know that their lives are about to change....

The title here "What Goes Around" is apropos on a number of levels – not the least of which is this Ouroboros-like problem as the two characters’ secret identities begin to cross over and bleed into their daily lives. The comedy and drama that both ensue are perfectly in balance. Even more importantly, Melbourne begins to show the process of both Vincent and Ethan changing and evolving as people. Is it possible that these two may eventually get along? Well......

Melbourne has also proven adept with keeping the story twisting in surprising directions. From the solicits for this issue I had a pretty good idea how the story here was going to end. I was right...but only to a certain extent. Melbourne managed to throw a shocking curveball that caught me by surprise.

As good as Archenemies is, however, it does have some weaknesses. The use of the cinematic trick of cutting quickly from one scene to the next is used throughout the issue. Most of the time it works but there is one scene that leaves the reader confused and disoriented. There are also a couple of panels of dialogue that seem splintered and they do not flow naturally. None of this is enough to ruin the fun of the rest of the story though.

As Melbourne burrows deeper into the messed up lives of Vincent and Ethan, penciler Yvel Guichet grows more comfortable along the way. The art on the first issue was good but here Guichet shows that he has loosened up the two lead characters. Both are even more expressive and natural looking now.

After reading this issue I find myself looking forward to the next with glee. Archenemies consistently brings the reader an enjoyable experience with a unique vision and voice. There is low comedy, high tragedy, and a thoughtful story guaranteed to surprise and delight. Just don’t lend your copy to your roommate...Make him buy his own.

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