Red Border #2

by Nick Devonald on June 23, 2020

Writer: Jason Starr
Artist: Will Conrad
Colourist: Ivan Nunes
Letters: Sal Cipriano

The second issue of Red Border feels very different to the first. In the first issue we followed our two main protagonists, Karina and Eduardo, as the fled Mexico and the Cartel and crossed the border into America. Following a bit of a violent bloodbath at the end of that issue they headed back to their saviour, Raymond’s, house. When we reach the house for the second issue it almost feels like a different comic. Here the story is about the house and its occupants, and a sense of unease gradually begins to build the longer our protagonists stay there. It makes the first issues illegal crossing of the border feel rushed and unimportant to the overall story. The running from the cartel or crossing of the border could have been told in flashbacks to focus on this part of the story instead, establishing the tone and horror aspect of the story from the get-go.

Jason Starr does a good job of building the tension up as the issue progresses. The reader knows there is something a little off and a bit strange about this so-called safe house and family that our heroes are sheltering with, but it’s not clear what is wrong with them. This unknown feeling of wrongness builds as the issue progresses, which Eduardo picks up on but Karina seems almost wilfully unaware of.

As well as this sense of wrongness we also have the cartel boss trying to figure out what happened to his men and trying to track down the fugitives. Starr makes sure the reader understands, in case it wasn’t clear before, that these are very bad men and that once they catch up with Eduardo and Karina that the pair of them are going to be in big trouble. The problem is it almost feels like a separate and inconsequential part of the story, it’s unclear how it’s all going to come together and feels overdone.

Will Conrad’s art is stunning. The characters feel more flawed and human than a lot of other comics do, here there’s no attempt to make everyone look like a model, each character has a very everyday look about them. The action scenes, one in particular stands out with the cartel, are really well done and the action feels fast, fluid and real.

Then we have Ivan Nunes colours, which are an excellent pairing with Conrads art. The two go together excellently and the finished comic is visually stunning. While the overall plot may be flawed the art and colours are absolutely gorgeous and are sure to delight comic fans.

The plot and overall story feel a little disjointed and unclear to what story is being told. The art is absolutely incredible, and while it might not be quite enough to justify the cost of entry it makes the price of entry a little more palatable because of how good it is.

Our Score:


A Look Inside