Tokyo Ghost, Vol. 2 is the second and last volume of the Rick Remender-Sean Murphy take of the familiar trope we already seen/read in the past years or so, Dances With Wolves, Avatar, documentaries on environmental issues, and even in some anime-manga titles. It composes issues #6-10, with some additional features like Murphy’s incredible artwork so to speak.
In typical Remender-fashioned character-grinding development, the main protagonist must avenge her former adoptive, environmental utopia from the continuing technological exploitative and imperialist pursuit of her former employer. In short, really, it’s nature versus modernity that is as old as the Industrial Revolutionary epoch for humans strive to dominate nature even though that should not be the case at all. But in the end, optimism prevails even the creative team teases something for a possible sequel.
The major highlight in this brief part is definitely Sean’s world-building and the rest of the interiors which arguably compensate the apparent lackluster script of Rick’s, particularly in the last chapter that is everything but fresh. Don’t get me wrong here. I love many of Rick’s opuses, his Venom and Uncanny X-Force runs, his brutal Punisher series, the whole Deadly Class and Low series, and his seminal Fear Agent work. But Tokyo Ghost is more of Sean’s masterpiece since his Punk Rock Jesus and the heartwarming and wacky Chrononauts. Murphy’s sequential paneling is both high-paced to high-octane action. However, the mushy moments are average to view since these are nothing novel to begin with, unless the pacing justifies these. Yet, Murphy’s re-imagining of the post-apocalyptic Japan at the height of technological and imperialist power to the return of the fundamentals is something to be more appreciative and noteworthy. This second volume is definitely Sean’s canvass.
Tokyo Ghost, Vol. 2 is a good visual read, but pales in comparison with its first volume, which personally could have done differently than what exactly happened then. Indeed, there are graphic and mature contents inside alongside with lots of violence in the last part of this arc. The clash of science over nature is anything but novel, making this theme very difficult to make it fresh for more jaded, if not sophisticated, readers who already see/read this kind of stuff. Tokyo Ghost Vol. #2 is basically a repetition of sorts of this line, only Murphy’s artistry shines radiantly here. Sure, fans will dig this, but I will just put this in the corner, and relish with Rick’s current masterpieces like LOW, BLACK SCIENCE, and naturally, DEADLY CLASS.
Tokyo Ghost, Vol. 2 will be on shelves at your nearest local comic book shop this coming October 12, 2016.