Summer of Indie- Comic Review: Sugar Glider Issue Two

The UK has some of the finest young talent in comic books at the moment. From The Abnormals to Spandex, to The Standard to Arse Cancer, each and everyone of them is an amazing array of top quality titles and creators. There is one other name that is missing off this list: Sugar Glider. Sugar Glider is the story of a young teenage girl who wants to be a superhero. It must have been difficult for Sugar Glider creators Daniel Clifford and Gary Bainbridge. They created a critically acclaimed issue one with the daunting premise of following up with an even better sequel. Well the Newcastle born Clifford comes out fighting with Sugar Glider Issue Two, producing an Empire Strikes Back like attack on the reader rather than the pathetic Phantom Menace.

After the events of Sugar Glider Issue One, Susie is trying to put her crime fighting days behind her and focus on a normal life. Yet all around her she is seeing superheroes and threats trying to draw her back in such as Don Quixote who is determined to hunt down the ‘demons’ of Tyneside.

As with Issue One, Sugar Glider Issue Two continues to be a fast paced riot that keeps the reader drooling with anticipation for more. It is only a shame when this book is finished and you realise that you have to wait for the final act. The cliff-hanger will make you desperate for 2012 to come like a child is desperate for Christmas. The creative team know that they should make a reader long to read their next issue and they have done exactly that.

Clifford’s choice to have a superhero have an entire family was a refreshing change of pace in Issue One. Issue Two adds to this, illustrating to the reader what would really happen if a teenager put a suit on and fought crime. Clifford’s dialogue between Susie and her mother is exceptional: it feels almost as if Clifford has had this conversation himself it is that good.

The MI5 vigilance team are brilliant, adding depth and intrigue into the Sugar Glider mythology. They are a modern day superhero team, the kind of thing that we would expect if superheroes actually became a reality. What is more, Clifford and Bainbridge make this team feel even more like they belong in the Twenty-first century with the link to reality television.

The Sugar Glider team smartly did not tell us where Susie got her costume from or anything about her origin in Issue One. This provided an interesting introduction. Issue Two furthers the mystery as we still do not know much more about how Susie became or decided to be Sugar Glider.

Bainbridge’s art has excelled, improving with every turn of the page. The innovative camera angles give the book style and substance, making typical fight scenes all the more exciting. Further it gives Sugar Glider an edge, as it feels different, it feels unique in a good way.

Sugar Glider Issue Two had a lot to live up to. Instead of cowering in a corner, worrying about how it was going to come to terms with this, it beat the door down, flouncing its ingenuity to the rest of the world saying come and get me. Like The Standard Issue Two, it would seem that the UK is producing a talented set of creators that realise the importance of improving a comic book with every issue. The Empire Strike Back of comic books has arrived.

GS Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

GS Reporter: Luke Halsall

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