COMIC REVIEW: Halcyon and Tenderfoot, Issue 2

After the shocking events of issue 1, Tenderfoot is reeling. He is dealing with the guilt that he believes he is the one to blame, as well as the fact that he has lost someone very dear to him. He decides that enough is enough and to hang up his tights. But how long will it be ’til he is running again?

Launched last week at the Carlisle Mega Con, Daniel Clifford and Lee Robinson left us with an unbelievable twist at the end of issue 1 that was bound to bring people back for more. They will not be disappointed. The tagline for issue 1 was that this book was not another crime fighting duo, and they are living up to their promise.

You can see that there has been much thought put into the covers, with the stark difference in mood from issue 1 to 2. In issue 1, everything is happy. We have bright colours and smiles all around. By the time we get to issue 2, there is a feeling of darkness engulfing the entire cover. It is a beautiful change that foreshadows what we are about to read. The cover art is one of the best covers I have seen on the indie circuit this year. Full of emotion and passion, it really shows what a good cover can do!

The artwork by Lee Robinson is stunning and suits this book to a tee. Something I have always liked about Clifford’s work is that it is for everyone. There is so much to take from this issue and the art really does pop, jumping out of the page. A stand out page has to be the priest recalling his experiences with the super team. Every time I look at Robinson’s work I think he gets better and better, getting more used to the comic medium and happier to take risks that are paying off.

A testament to Clifford as a writer, this issue really shows off his ability, again illustrating that this book is more than just the typical crime fighting duo. There is little action in terms of fisticuffs in Halcyon and Tenderfoot 2 but I could not say that there is not action. The storyline will grip you as you watch Tenderfoot mourn and see how his fallen comrade has affected the rest of the universe they inhabit. A really nice touch is that a lot of the support cast that appear in this issue were created at Clifford and Robinson’s workshops by their child fans for their child fans. We do see some physical action, but again it is not what you would come to expect if you saw the words “superhero comic.”

Clifford and Robinson took another gamble (taking an issue to develop their characters and focus on them rather than fights) and it really paid off. I feel more connected to Tenderfoot than I did at the end of issue 1 and feel his emotional heart ache. Some would have shied away from not having much physical action in an issue 2, but this is coming from one half of the team that decided that they would be able to create an entire universe, flesh it out, and succeed with Sugar Glider. The final page is not as dramatic in a typical sense as issue 1 was, but in an emotional sense it is just as strong. This issue really helps you develop a bond with Tenderfoot, and there is a real fist in the air with triumph as we see the final panel. There are some moments that I did not feel that the dialogue worked, but for every time this occurred, Clifford made up for it with some great emotion shown from Tenderfoot.

Overall, the Art Heroes team are excelling. They keep taking risks and breaking down the boundaries that surround the rest of the comic scene. This is a must read book that has heart and soul.

You can buy it here.

GS Rating:
4 out of 5
GS Reviewer: Luke Halsall

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