Mall #2: Mutant Mole People & Preludes To War

by Gary Catig

With Andre lost in the tunnels beneath the mall, his father is eager to bring him back under the protection of the Gacy’s Clan. The head of the Walker Family understands the perils of the underground and sends his best fixer to retrieve his son.

Enemies of the Gacy’s clan see how their leader is distracted and are looking to take advantage of the situation. Rivals begin to assemble waiting for the perfect time to strike while a potential threat closer to home is revealed.

Meanwhile, Andre and his mysterious savior are off to uncover evidence to clear his name. They head out to the thought to be destroyed, security annex hoping to watch surveillance video of the true murderers. The deeper Andre searches for answers, the more he realizes how clueless he is of the mall. After battling guards and mutant mole people, they find what they’re looking for.

Writers, Michael Moreci and Gary Dauberman, do a great job of advancing the story. They are creating a mini-epic building up a potential war and jumping back and forth from different locations. You forget that it is all taking place within the confines of a shopping complex.

They gradually answer some big questions from the first issue while paving the way for more to keep the reader both satisfied and interested. In addition, they begin to develop the tension between the clans and the imminent clash to change the power structure. This ups the stakes and promotes the idea of an unseen player manipulating the mall. Finally, the reveal in the end indicates that Andre and his partner’s futures are more intertwined than initially thought. Hopefully it is all building up to something big.

Zak Hartong creates dynamic action sequences and he especially brings out the bad ass side of Andre’s nameless companion. He, along with colorist, Addison Duke, perfectly capture the different settings whether its dark tunnels illuminated by two flashlights to red tinted hallways due to an alarm.

Moreover, Jim Campbell stands out with his lettering bringing the reader into the story. His consistent, equally spaced sounds of the siren make you hear the noise rather than just read it. Elsewhere, he builds suspense of the imminent mole people attack with scratching sounds littered throughout the page. When you finally see the monstrosities, Hartong keeps their look menacing but throws in dark humor by putting them in outlandish apparel and hair styles. Overall, a great effort from the art team.

Mall doesn’t suffer any dip in the second issue. It contains many of the positive aspects from the first issue like compelling mystery and intense action sequences. Plus, a war’s coming so that should help entice readers to continue with the series.

Mall #2 is available now from Vault Comics.

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