Lyra’s Past Comes To Light In You Are Obsolete #2

by Brendan M. Allen

Death seems to be everywhere when, after arriving on a quaint but eerie Eastern European island, a disgraced journalist following up on a peculiar story meets the leader of a group of odd, tech-obsessed children who evidently have a strange power over the frightened adults of the village.

Last month, You Are Obsolete kicked off with a young writer named Lyra telling her story through a confession diary. Somehow, she got involved with a murderous pack of tech savvy kids. Somehow, these little demon spawn have figured out a way to off every adult on their little island, as soon as they hit their fortieth birthday. These kids are in charge of everything, and have every adult on the rock too terrified to cross them. Almost every adult, anyway. 

In You Are Obsolete #2, we get more of that confession diary. Lyra lets us know exactly what it is these kids are holding over her head to keep her on the island. There’s really nothing terribly egregious, except Lyra is trying to break out in broadcast journalism, and these types of indiscretion typically end careers for young females in that particular industry. So, she’s stuck between disgrace and obscurity on the mainland, or tolerating these little maniacs and staying for the story that actually could make her career, if she survives.

Matthew Klickstein is working on a little bit of a slow burn here, dropping just enough new information with each installment to reel the reader in a little deeper, without giving away too much. As odd as it sounds, there’s still a lot to unpack here.

Lyra apparently has some decisions to make, but we already know, to an extent, which way this thing goes, don’t we? Confession diary. That’s the kind of thing someone writes when they’re about to make their last stand, isn’t it? Choices to be made, sure, but by the time we’re reading, it’s already been resolved, one way or the other.

Evgeniy Bornyakov and Lauren Affe are doing a fantastic job on the art side. Bornyakov’s linework is brilliantly suited to the script. There are a few slick little tricks he pulls with perspective and scale in this installment that really crank up the tension. Color by Lauren Affe is cold, sterile, creepy.

You Are Obsolete #2 is a fantastic second installment in a very disturbing little story. Klickstein is leaning into a few tropes that have been visited many times over, but technology has come so far just in the last decade or so, this is a completely fresh take. Nineteen Eighty-Four meets Children of the Corn, with internet and cellular telephones.

You Are Obsolete #2, AfterShock Comics, released 23 October 2019. Written and created by Mathew Klickstein, art by Evgeniy Bornyakov, color by Lauren Affe, letters by Simon Bowland, cover by Andy CLarke and Jose Villarrubia, logo by Sal Cipriano, produced by Charles Pritchett, edited by Christina Harrington.

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