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CodeBreakers #2 – Review

The search for Stanley continues, as Donald and his team trace the IP that put Stanley in danger. Meanwhile, Stanley is being tortured by Remy, a criminal who has resurfaced from Donald's past. Remy has cut off all of the toes on Stanley's right foot to encourage his work in cracking a code. Donald and his team manage to find the room Stanley was working from, but they were too late to find Stanley. Donald instantly recognizes the codes sprawled over the walls. The team finds that Remy is not so willing to let them follow and sends thugs to get them. After avoiding Remy's thugs, Donald separates from Lindsay and Malcolm to continue alone. Stanley is relocated to continue working on the mystery code. Lindsay and Malcolm are forced to either give up the search for Stanley or find their own way to bring him home. Lindsay chooses to make her own plan to find him by enlisting the help of a criminal's wife. It just happens that Lindsay's responsible for putting her husband behind bars.

The adrenaline train keeps going with this issue as Carey Malloy writes a wonderful cat and mouse story. However, in this tale, the criminal is one step ahead of our heroes. Malloy introduced the villain briefly at the end of the first issue by having Remy threaten Stanley with cutting his toes off. It was very shocking to see that he followed through on the promise. Think about that for a moment: Here's Stanley, a nice guy with an extraordinary job who one day he finds himself brutally beaten and missing all of his toes. Malloy may not build upon all of the characters from the first issue, but he definitely moves the plot forward. There's a real sense of time to the book and each page seems to have an invisible countdown clock for Stanley's life.                                                            Codebreakers 2

The one character that is built upon from the second issue is Lindsay. Malloy shows her true talents and why she's so valuable to the team.  Whether it is sweet talking a security guard or getting a take on Donald, her ability to read people and then get what she needs from them shows why Lindsay is indispensable.

The consistency of Stephen Downer (Dingo) should be applauded. He really understands the importance of character placement in the frame and uses that to support the story. From the first issue to the second issue, he's managed to balance the action and the detective work nicely. His style has improved and grown from his earlier work, which is apparent with this series. He's somewhat reminiscent of Jack Kirby in the fact that his action ignores the frames and appears as though they were moving.

This issue does add a few too many characters to the mix though. The extra thugs are a bit much, and the criminal wife felt like it was something that could wait till the next issue. Because the story has a lot of ground to cover, the art never really gets to spread its wings. The saving grace is that invisible countdown clock that constantly pushes the reader forward. If the reader wasn't so rushed, they might be able to pick up on a lot of the clues that are hidden in the panels.

Frankly, this issue is really good. It does slump in comparison to the first issue, but it also has a different role to play than the first did. It still does a great job of making the characters likable and cool. The world Malloy and Downer are building is still very interesting and full of drama. Previously I stated that this could be a TV show and in a way it is- you just have to wait a month for the next episode.

Overall Score 8.8/10





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