The Detective And The Odd Couple: Reviewing ‘Barnstormers’ #2
by Olly MacNamee
Scott Snyder and Tula Lotay’s ‘Barnstormers’ #2 quickly gets off the ground with the real reason our runaway bride ran away while hinting at troubles ahead for Bixby regarding his mental health. But, that’s not the worst of their problems as they do a ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ on a particularly wealthy family.
Barnstormers #2 takes no time in getting off to a flying start (see what I did there?) with an insight into the real reasons our runaway bride was so quick to jilt her groom at the altar last issue. And while we get to know Tillie, we can’t be too sure of dare-doing barnstormer, Bixby Huckett, who is still haunted by the thought of a mechanical monster chasing him across America.
Meanwhile, while it is yet to be determined whether Bix is suffering from mental health issues (which is heavily implied), we get the Pinkertons and one in particular, Agent West. A man with a nostalgic memory of the Pinkerton agency in its heyday. A heyday long past, it would seem, from recent field work the good agent has been involved with. But, make no doubt about it, he will have a part to play in this story before it’s all done with his latest assignment.
Continuing to feel like Bonnie and Clyde in the clouds, Bix and Tillie soon realise they are good for one another. Well, if being good means being bad, as they begin the start of a beautiful, and mutually satisfactory, relationship in an America where only the rich get what they want, and so become victims of crimes, but playing to an unsympathetic readership. Especially at a time when parallels between the struggles of people in the ‘20s can be related to by so many in the present. Although, I am more than such parallels are not Scott Snyder’s intention for this series. After all, he would not be the first to portray the elite and wealthy as narcissistic, privileged, and arrogantly believing themselves above the law.
Tula Lotay continues to add a bit of that old Hollywood glamour to the whole affair, making much use of colour to evoke mood and thereby sidestepping a good deal of artistic endeavour to fully represent the full scene. All the colour in the world will not make up for a lack of detail in much of the book when utilising mid-shots and close-ups. But then, as an artist more accustomed to front covers, I dare say this is an aspect of her interior work that she could work on. Otherwise it becomes a series full of talking heads and little else, no matter how well presented the characters.
An issue that quickly moves the story on somewhat with an odd couple will-they-won’t-they dynamic established, and the right amount of tension building up both in front of Bix and Tillie’s eyes and further afield too.
Barnstormers #2 is out now on ComiXology Originals