East Fights West In 20XX #2

by Josh Davison

Mild Spoilers Ahead
Mer has just used her sym powers against a person for the first time and she’s terrified of the results. However, she doesn’t have much time to panic. Her cousin Lucas and his friend Edrie need help cleaning up the scene so they don’t get caught. Mer is disgusted with it all, but she doesn’t have a choice if she’s going to get any help from Lucas. Afterwards, Lucas explains what’s been going on between the West Side and East Side gangs and his part in it. He takes Meria to the West Side hideout and the leaders of the gang, Kal and Tendai, ask Mer to swear loyalty to the gang before they promise to help her.

20XX #2 cover by Jonathan Luna
20XX #2 cover by Jonathan Luna

20XX #2 finds Meria caught in a sym gang war being worsened by her cousin–the only family she has left. She’s forced to be in the middle of all of this while still coping with her sym powers and her new, lower place in society.
It’s a tense and wrought situation for Meria and she is left feeling more powerless than ever. She’s not in control of her destiny, her life has fallen to pieces, and she’s being shepherded around by soldiers in a war that’s not her own.
Unfortunately, this comic is hindered by the massive expository dialogue dumps we get throughout. The book has a lot of text and it’s a struggle to get through at times. Admittedly, 20XX has a lot of moving parts and a lot of characters, but the paragraphs of dialogue characters often deliver in a single panel can be exhausting and unpleasant.
Jonathan Luna’s artwork still looks great, though the lack of color in the comic hurts more than helps. There’s not enough heavy shading to give the visuals layering and depth. It looks good, but still feels flat.
20XX #2 is a comic with a lot of good ideas and its creators are undoubtedly talented. However, the finished product is less than the sum of its parts. The endless dialogue and flat-feeling visuals kneecap the solid narrative structure and world-building. Unfortunately, I’m unable to recommend this one.
20XX #2 comes to us from writer Lauren Keely and writer, artist, letterer, and cover artist Jonathan Luna.
Final Score: 4/10 

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