Professor Lucius Tong seems to be a villain who loves the sound of his own voice, but he at least clues the reader into his master plans as he holds Doctor Edison Crane as his hostage in Prodigy: The Icarus Society #2. Exotic climes, ancient civilisations and Machiavellian plans make up this entertaining second issue.
Edison Crane certainly seems to have met his match, and then some, in convicted criminal mastermind Professor Tong, who monologues to his heart’s content as he reveals to Doctor Crane his past identities, and his current plans that include the tracking down and requiring of ancient alien artefacts. Artefacts first uncovered by an expedition to the Tayos Cave in Ecuador in 1976 land included Neil Armstrong (yes, THAT, Neil Armstrong). And expedition that did actually happen as it turns out. Although in reality nothing as exotic and exciting as solid gold books written in an alien language were ever found. But, it’s a great concept seized upon by writer Mark Millar, nonetheless.
And, as Tong drones on we get to pull back in a series of long shots to take in his enviable villainous superyacht-cum-submarine befitting of any megalomaniac with wealth the splurge. The likes of Lex Luthor or Doctor No would be seething with jealously if they were ever to see this aquatic wonder. All wonderfully realised by artist Matteo Buffagni. An artist just as comfortable conceptualising the sleek lines of a billionaire’s super yacht as he is depicting the crusty, crumbling remains of an ancient civilisation.
By the end of this issue we at least get a good idea of Tong’s plans, as well as Crane’s true status within the one percenters of the world. And, it’s not as grand a position as he thought. Has he really met his match, do you think? It’s certainly a position we are encouraged to adopt in the case of suspense and tension. Although, part of me also thinks Crane is biding his time and taking in everything the talkative Professor Lucius Tong has to say.
Colourist Laura Martin helps bring the the earthy tones and golden glow of Armstrong’s exhibition to life, while subduing the colours once we return to the prison complex of last issue. Come the journey to the bottom of the ocean and the colours are darker again. All helping establish the various settings and change in tones required of such a globe-trotting issue. The larger sized panels also help with the balancing of all the dialogue falling out of Tong’s arrogant mouth too, courtesy of Clem Robins lettering skills.
Prodigy: The Icarus Society #2 is an interesting read, anchoring the main concept to an historical event I dare say very few readers have even heard about. After all, an exhibition to deepest, darkest Ecuador including Neil Armstrong just sounds preposterous, right? But then, this is a wonderfully preposterous series
Prodigy: The Icarus Society #2 is out now from Image Comics