Campisi: The Dragon Incident #2
Aftershock Comics 2021
Written by James Patrick
Illustrated by Marco Locati
Lettered by Rachel Deering
Ah, Mudone! A frickin' dragon has flown into Green Village with an ultimatum, and since that neighborhood is run by the mob, it needs to be handled a very certain way so as not to attract attention. This means it's now Sonny Campisi's problem to navigate. But as he tries to fix it, one complication after another arises...not the least of which is that the dragon is kind of an a-hole.
There are a myriad of reasons to love this book. Just the fact that these folks knew Dragons existed and it is in their history books is an amazing take on alternate history. Add that to the fact that this has a mob or mafia in the village, like a New York Burrough, and one of the fixers, who has a soft spot for the people, is caught up in the thick of things. So now we’ve got a young man who is connected and a Dragon looking for the last descendent of the man who slaughtered the Dragons back in the day and how these two begin their tumultuous relationship, I wouldn’t call it a friendship or a rivalry but that’s for you to decide, is firmly cemented within this issue.
I am very much enjoying the way that this is being told. The story & plot development we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is exceptionally well done. The character development we see through the narration, the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter as it really brings them to life as real people. The pacing is great and as it takes us through the pages revealing more of the story and bringing us this strong powerful look into Sonny’s life.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen shows how magnificently this is crafted. The layers here contain the bulk of the characterisation, backstory and his rocky relationship with his boss and we see them all play off one another is exceptionally well done. This adds all kinds of depth, dimension and complexity to the story. The way we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is extremely well achieved.
The interiors here have a very distinct style and flow all their own. The linework is clean, crisp and sharp and how we see the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the attention to detail is pretty darn marvellous. The way we see the utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels now only shows a remarkable eye for storytelling but also tricks the eye with how backgrounds are utilised. The panels are full up and not all with backgrounds so what we see expands and enhances the moments as well as works within the composition of the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story beautifully. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work shows a solid eye for how colour works.
I was wondering how well this would be able to add a Dragon into the story in a way that didn’t send everyone scrambling into a panic. I worried needlessly because here we are with the second issue and it feels like a natural part of this world and the people well are and aren’t afraid of this strange mythical beast, nay nay I say instead they want retribution for what it's done. This has some excellent writing and sharp sure characterisation wrapped up in some delightful interiors which makes this a pure joy to read.