Review: Explore Mystery With ‘Adventureman #2’

by Benjamin Hall

Warning of spoilers for this issue!

It is unclear whether designer Leonardo Olea contributes more than a beautiful backdrop for the credits page. Whatever the true extent is, Olea provides a brilliant background for letterer Clayton Cowles stylistic cursive font. The cover by penciler/colorist Terry Dodson and inker Rachel Dodson is very uncommon in design. This is due to the non-sexual posing of the three female characters. Also, a factor is that each character has a different body type. Yes, all three are still showing certain ideals in their forms, but nowhere to the extent of what is on other covers. Thus kudos goes to the Dodsons for pulling this off.

Adventureman #2 (2020) Cover pencils and colors by Terry Dodson, cover inks by Rachel Dodson, cover letters by Clayton Cowles.

There is a good amount of plot and character development that the Dodsons and writer Matt Fraction in this issue. Most of the character development the Dodsons provide is through little objects readers can spot throughout each scene. While Fraction provides certain moments that are more reliant on cliches, including one particular moment that is rather reliant on white privilege. Also, there is one moment that is obviously swiping from the movie The Shadow (1994). However, Fraction expertly, as well as charmingly, writes a script that will make many readers love each and every moment. Not to mention that each moment actually moves the story along at a pretty good pace.

While Clayton Cowles provides exceptional lettering on each page, there are two problems. One being that the script apparently calls for the lettering to look translucent in the way one might see in certain movies. Specifically the ones where correspondence is on display to the side of a character while read aloud by another character. However, these moments, while relatively frequent, are still legible, and only cause the smaller problem of slowing the pace a minuscule bit. As for the word balloons, they are near perfect in their positions.

The colors do a superb job at attracting the reader’s attention. This is mainly due to how the palette selection is a mix of emerald, blues, browns, oranges, and yellowish hues. It creates a nice blend that enhances this realistic feeling, but fantastical pulp adventure. However, there are a few moments where those with certain types of color blindness might have a little trouble. Lastly, the final pages focus on delivering a message, and good recommendations, that will obviously anger the right-wing, and those who don’t understand that comics have always been political.

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