If Non-Humans were just a four issue mini-series than I would be extremely disappointed in this issue because there are so many characters and so many stories that can be explored. Thankfully I saw a comment posted by writer Glen Brunswick in which he says he has long term plans for Non-Humans because he can think of so much more to do with this idea. I really hope this comes into fruition because there are a lot of great stories that I can see coming out of the series. Now is this one of those great stories? With the exception of Eden's heel turn and most of Whilce Portacio's artwork, yes. On the search for Humphrey, a small ventriloquist dummy who attempted to kill the Martin Luther King Junior figure of the Non-Humans and killed Detective Aimes former partner, Aimes and his new love interest-I mean partner-Eden, go to interrogate a potential witness and former actress. Deadly situations ensue.I love how writer Glen Brunswick continues to build the Non-Humans universe. We get not only the Non-Humans’ origin (which could have fit into the first issue) but also Aimes and Wentworth's origins, both of which are satisfying. Brunswick even takes it a step further by talking more about the laws passed after toys gained sentience. It’s sounding more and more like an ongoing series by the sentence! The layers added to this world make me want to learn much more about it.
Furthering the ongoing series vibe, characters from the first issue of this "miniseries" do not even appear. For a mini-series this means there are too many characters (seriously, there are more characters in this series than there were in 90210). This issue in particular highlights three characters: Aimes, Eden and Wentworth. An old actress, Wentworth, was another interesting addition to the cavalcade of characters. Eden's character goes through a tidal wave's worth of transformation in this issue, and by the time that wave crashes I don't like where Eden's washed-up. She seems like a terribly forced love interest for our protagonist. Her studies in Non-Human psychology and her caring attitude towards Non-Humans do make her an interesting contrast of Aimes. At first this does make her seem like she could be an adequate love interest. However I would've expected this relationship to build over a period of time and not pages. One of the other huge problems with Eden is a line towards the end of this issue that I really hope is just a poor attempt at a joke, because it would mean she lost all her support for the Non-Humans after only one attack. Just like Eden, Aimes almost seems to have a heel turn almost immediately in this issue when he protects Medic, a Non-human. He claims to have his "reasons" but this just seems like an uncharacteristic moment for him. But I guess I should be patting Brunswick on the back for making me feel like I know him so well despite the fact that I’ve only known Aimes for two issues. The best moment possibly since this miniseries started is the reveal of Aimes childhood.
There was a lot of great exposition from Glen Brunswick in this series. All of it was interesting even if it was sometimes drawn-out. However amidst all this exposition the one that stood out the most was Aimes childhood story which has a lot of surprising twists and leads to an awesome ending that really has me awaiting anxiously for the next issue of Non-Humans. Now I know I don't hate all of Portacio's artwork. His action scenes in Artifacts #8 were great. One of the action scenes in Non-Humans #2 is drawn well - the fight is between Aimes and a very creepy gal with an ego. But the best part about this fight scene isn't the artwork. It’s when Aimes decides to hit his enemy over the head with an Oscar. That was priceless!I can't say anything else positive about Portacio's artwork. The big problem in this issue is how the artwork integrates with the exposition. It doesn't. Whenever Brunswick begins exposition, we're left looking at a bunch of faces simply explaining everything. But during one expositional scene there were pictures used in the background while Brunswick told his tale. This is during the explanation of the Non-Humans phenomenon. Every scene with exposition should be using pictures. This isn’t a novel. A comic book should be taking advantage of both the story-telling and the artwork, integrating them together, enriching a readers experience. But another big problem with that though is that there isn't enough room. They could go an entire issue talking about Aimes childhood and I think it would've been more impactful then the page we're given of it. It's great, but it could be even greater If more time could be devoted to it.
The rest of Portacio's artwork has tons of line-driven backgrounds with barely any color In the beginning except for unsatisfying blacks and whites. The characters are also marred by multiple lines and Eden's hair... a Mohawk isn't always "the 90s want their hair back." For example, I love Storm's Mohawk (yes, X-Men’s Storm had a Mohawk), and sometimes Portacio makes Eden's hair look tolerable, but in the opening pages especially... the 90s want their hair back. Characters’ also have slits for eyes in some panels. These quirks make the overall artwork unappealing to me.Despite the flaws in the characters and the artwork and my inability to think of this series as simply a mini-series and not an ongoing one, Non-Humans #2 is a solid title with tons of fascinating exposition which does make it feel like you get your money’s worth content-wise. With better integration between the story and the artwork, along with some story fix-ups, I can see this series going in a very positive direction.A unique direction that’s more than just child’s play.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.