The Escapists #2


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The Escapists #2


  • Words: Brian K. Vaughan
  • Art: Jason S. Alexander & Steve Rolston
  • Inks: Jason S. Alexander & Steve Rolston
  • Colors: Matt Hollingsworth & Dave Stewart
  • Story Title: Part 2
  • Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Aug 9, 2006

With The Escapist ready to make his comeback in a new comic, how will a forgotten character have a chance at recognition? A real-life heroic effort might do the trick.

Max Roth has done it. With the aid of childhood friend, Denny Jones’s calligraphy and a young female graphic designer, Case Weaver on art, he has managed to take a redundant classic character created by Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay and breathed new life into him. After spending the majority of his inheritance to purchase the rights to the Escapist, Max, Case and Denny have created a new issue of The Escapist, and the release is just a month or so away. But with so much competition in the world of comic books, a new release of a character nobody cares about anymore, written and drawn (and lettered) by unknown creators doesn’t stand a chance…unless there is something about it that really makes it stand out. So the trio devises a simple yet juvenile plan that should get the Escapist on people’s minds--something of a crusade against corporate oppression with Denny playing the part of the masked hero. When things don’t quite go as expected, what could have been tragedy might just end up making the hero born anew and better than ever.

Vaughan’s storytelling this issue is more straightforward than last issue, which was pretty creative and fun in its own way. The three protagonists are fleshed out a bit more and we are granted something of an inside view of the creative process involved in a comic book collaboration and production. As usual he gives the reader more than a few moments to smile about, and even though the scheme to get the Escapist back into public view is a little hair-brained, Vaughan takes us on an easy rundown of how it could and should all work out in the end by having the characters debate with one another sensibly. In vintage Vaughan fashion, the climax is exciting in its own right, but still sort of dances around a truly thrilling conclusion and cliffhanger that leaves a smile on the reader’s face…not to mention wanting to come back for more.

Jason Alexander (and Matt Hollingsworth) provides the art for the comic within the comic--that is Case’s art--while Steve Rolston (and Dave Stewart) provides the art for the story of the creators. Each has a very different style that makes it easy to know what part of the script Vaughan is showing us. Alexander’s work is grainy yet refined, resembling something of a cross between Michael Gaydos and Alex Maleev--of course some of that could be Hollingsworth’s doing as well. Rolston’s work is simple yet defined, which gives his figures strong yet cherubic features.

So far, The Escapists is a worthy companion piece to Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Knowing Vaughan and the company he is keeping here, there is no reason to believe that it won’t continue to be deserving of such praise.

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