Last year we reviewed the first Awake comic (Gremons Wrath) from Action Labs. Created by Susan Beneville and Brian Hess, Awake tells the story of Regn, a 12 year old girl who has an extraordinary power. She can heal whole planets. Not only that, but she can talk to them and wake them up, bring them back to life. However when she lands on the planet Gremon, a planet that is angrily tearing itself apart, there are more forces at work than just the planet.
The first issue gave us an introduction to Regn and a large portion focused in setting the scene for her and her powers. It also introduced two male characters that live in Gremon and in issue 2 (First Impressions) it is on these two characters that we focus. They appear to be traveling across the relatively baron planet and happen upon a small town. Here they come into contact with a young woman who offers an insight into the planets destruction and we learn more about life on this depleting planet.
First Impressions is an apt title for this issue the second issue as it introduces some new characters and with it come more questions. It would seem that the greed-driven Baron is introduced, but we are yet to discover his relevance to the plot. The first impressions of him are of a tyrannical and demanding leader, so it can be assumed that his presence is not a good one.
What works well within Awake is the writers ability to give information, but keep us guessing and asking. Whilst we learn more about the planet and what is happening more questions are raised regarding the two male characters and their motivations. The introduction of a female character (similar to a mysterious female in issue #1) brings with it some hints at a love interest, and even a love triangle. The plot thickens, but is it too thick? Awake verges on not offering enough progression in plot to gain the readers investment and this may be an issue for some.
As with the first issue the artwork is bright and stimulating. The use of specific colours when dealing with Regn separates her from the rest of the story and almost aids in her being viewed as something different from everyone else we meet. The characters are all well designed and instantly recognisable and the world that is being created is both beautiful and full of destruction.
Awake #2 has more substance to it than #1, introducing new characters and giving an insight into the planets destruction and the effect that has on those that live on it. The characters are beginning to develop and become more dynamic and the plot, whilst moving forwards, posts new questions that keep the reader invested and leaves them wanting more, though this tactic may well reduce the investment of some readers who are waiting for more to happen to whet their appetite.
If you have read issue #1 what were your thoughts? Are you looking forward to reading more? Let us know via Twitter. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Head over to Action Labs and get the first issue.