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Working Men of All Planets, Unite! - VENUS RISES Ch. 2 Review

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Venus Rises: Exordium Chapter 2

Conceived and Written by J.G. Birdsall

Art and Letters by James Newell

Colors: James Newell, Wilson Go, and Caroline Nolasco


Fifty years in the future, Earth has become uninhabitable. Society's elite have colonized Mars while the lower classes have been sent to Venus to mine for resources. Societal inequalities come to a head as the workers on Venus realize they will never be allowed to join the new society on Mars. Civil War between the planets is coming. The first chapter of Venus Rises introduced the beginnings of the conflict through two sets of characters. One perspective comes from Mars, through the eyes of Hollister Pelt, an employee of the Shirokawa Mega-Corporation. The other perspective comes from the crew of the salvage ship Cattywampus, currently stationed in orbit around Venus. In this issue, both sets of characters find themselves dealing with the catastrophic events that concluded the first chapter.

As the story line unfolds, Birdsall naturally inserts world building. The reader begins to get a sense of how the societies of Venus and Mars operate. We also get our first real glimpse at the levels of technology available to both social classes. Birdsall also introduces two new characters. Katherine, who is the crisis manager for the Martian colony of Eurybia City. We also get to see more of the mysterious woman shown on the last few pages of the first issue. Both are obviously strong women, and it will be interesting to see how each factor into both the upcoming conflict and form relationships with the existing characters. Now that the plot has been set up by the first issue, this chapter contains some thrilling action sequences. It's pretty obvious after reading both issues that Birdsall has a knack for building up tension and suspense.

Newell's art style is vastly different from Garbarini's in the first chapter. Where Garbarini's style was closer to animation, Newell's style is closer to the pen and ink illustrations common to comic books. Newell does a great job of visually communicating that the Cattywampus' crew is working in zero gravity. Dark inks make the illustrations stand out against the color team's bright and vibrant palette. Some fine detail may be lost, but the artwork fits the more urgent tone of the second chapter.

Venus Rises #2 is an exciting second chapter in this Sci-Fi adventure. This issue ups the ante on both the action and the drama. It does a great job of building onto the events of the first issue, while introducing new characters and moving the plot forward. I preferred the art in the first chapter, it just had a cleaner look to it. Yet, the art in this issue does fit the tone and settings of this second installment. The first two chapters are available now for purchase, with a third chapter currently in production.

Writing 5 / 5

Art: 3.5 / 5

OVERALL: 4.3 / 5