Stained Issue 2 Review (451 Entertainment)


     After Stained #1 hit the comic stands, it did well enough that it completely sold out at distributors, and will have a second print run featuring alternate cover art by Victoria Gedvillas! I can definitely see why Stained sold so damned well, as in my review I said, "In a market over-saturated with science fiction bounty hunter stories this book stands out due to the fact the main protagonist is so damned well written."

     451's newest book Stained is a sci fi, tech noir alongside time-tested giants like Ghost in the Shell and Blade Runner.  Writer David Baron and artist Yusuf Idris have brought us the tale of Emma London, a cybernetic bounty hunter in the near future trying to make ends meet in day to day life.  She worries about rent and taxes, and is willing to do whatever it takes to pay the bills.


     Following the path of police procedurals, and set in a dystopian cyberpunk world, Emma's story is packed with action, attitude, and criminal activities.  This issue takes a fresh start with two stories, an abduction and an art heist, each crossing into each other, with implications of something far more sinister beneath them both.
     Our bionically enhanced heroine is tracking an a man she refers to as a "classic movie villain," due to his appearance- a debonair, white-suited crime boss with conceited license plates on his fancy car reading R3d Devl- as he is transferring his stolen art.  In attempting to retrieve a particular painting, she finds an underground auction for artistic contraband.  During this reconnaissance and retrieval mission, she finds herself in a tough predicament by finding a crate in the art thieves' storage.  Leaving her in a situation where she needs to either finish her job, or help the individual being held captive with a swiftly depleting timetable for the art to be shipped away.  A great cliffhanger ending if ever there was one.


     Much like the first issue, Stained #2's writing is well done in keeping the flow and maintaining a believable cyberpunk world. Baron makes sure nothing is too over the top, nor anything too heavily tech focused.  It rides that fine line down the middle.  It's a simple story given depth through proper characterization, atmosphere, and plot.

     Yudris' art flows well again, not quite as smoothly as the first issue, but still well enough.  And I would like to remind readers that he's a newcomer, so he's still breaking in his skills and may need a little time to hit his stride.  Baron's double-duty on coloring keeps the pace and bolsters Yudris' illustrations.  What they do best together is the action scenes.  They look very cinematic and could easily be seen as one of the spy movies they are emulating.

     Overall, Stained issue 2 isn't quite as awesome as the first, but makes up for it with a great ending leaving readers wanting to know more.  Many comics do drop slightly in intrigue for the second issues, only to slow build to a tremendous finale.  I fully expect that will be the case for this series as well.  Every single series 451 Entertainment has put out has followed this track, and every single series has been phenomenal- so once again, I'd definitely recommend readers check out all their comic series', starting with this one.

     Stained #2 is available today! [ On Comixology ]

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*Review copy provided, thank you!