Fugitives. Rebels. Newlyweds. Once upon a time in Veracruz, two newlyweds tried to put their pasts behind them, to build a happy life together. But the world is full of monsters who seek to bring out the worst in them. Game on.
In chapter one of Gasolina, we met Randy and Mal, a newlywed couple escaping from…something, trying to start a new life in Mexico. Everything’s very sweet and lovey dovey for an entire three pages before all hell breaks loose on the farm. Guns, drugs, kidnapping, and a chest-bursting bio-weapon monster beetle? You have my attention.
Gasolina #2 (Dos) dives straight into the weirdness. Mal takes Randy over to her brother’s house to check on Quique, her young nephew who was kidnapped by Los Queridos (The Beloved) in the first issue. The fields are empty. Door’s unlocked, and the house is apparently devoid of living human forms. Not to say there isn’t anyone home. It just doesn’t appear that any are breathing. Randy and Mal will have to think quickly, because Los Queridos are on the way back to hunt them down.
Sean Mackiewicz is expertly tightening the screws on his modern western/narco/horror/crime/love story/mystery. There’s still surprisingly little exposition in this second chapter. We still have no clue what exactly the lovebirds are running from except that there was violence involved, and both know their way around weapons and breach tactics.
Niko Walter and Mat Lopes combine talents to produce an aesthetic that is beautifully disturbing. There’s a brooding cinematic feel to these pages. Emotions are clearly displayed in characters’ eyes, the lines on their faces, their ambulation and posture. Interiors are spooky and dark, exteriors are bright and vast. You will catch new things previously missed with each pass.
There’s a funny line in storytelling, where ideally you want the audience to have an idea what’s going on, but not necessarily have enough information to guess where the story is headed. I have absolutely no idea what’s coming up next in Gasolina. So far, the narrative has been a definite slow burn, but has been insanely action packed. We’re seeing a lot of heavy stuff go down, without knowing exactly why. This story has me completely bewildered, and I’m loving every minute of it.
Gasolina #2, released 25 October 2017 by Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment. Created by Sean Mackiewicz (script) and Niko Walter (art), color by Mat Lopes, letters by Rus Wooten.