Sunday, 12 January 2014

Dr 2 #1 Review (Peter Tieryas, James Chiang)


Dr 2 #1 is a confusing comic that starts in 1945 at a Japanese internment camp and then skips ahead to 2045 where, in a dystopian future (of course!) some guy has died in some bizarre fashion where he’s been melted into the ground(!) and it’s up to an acupuncturist/forensics expert/detective called Dr 2 to find out why.


I didn’t like any part of this comic - the parts I could understand were standard police procedural dross (I hate police procedurals above any other fiction genre), and the parts I couldn’t understand were plain uninteresting. I’m not expecting to understand the entire story from the first issue alone but it doesn’t help that its opening scene feels completely out of context and disorienting to the reader. Why are we in 1945 Japan? Who’s the guy yelling and what do the dead bodies mean? Cut to 100 years later! O…K?


Dr 2 - and I don’t know why he’s called that - is for some reason the guy the future police call to solve bizarre murders. I thought with the title Dr that he was a forensics guy but apparently he’s also the detective? So some poor bastard has died by being melted into the floor of his apartment, Dr 2 shows up and sticks some acupuncture needles into his scalp and gets a psychic reading…? And then takes it upon himself to find the killer.


The art style is definitely amateurish, the outlines looking like someone drew it on Paint while an image gets used in multiple panels just by moving the focus closer to it - it’s so lazy! Otherwise, I’m not sure why the artist went with the same character design of Spy Vs Spy for their main character but the overall noir look they’re going for - something along the lines of Frank Miller’s Sin City - completely fails, which is weird because the creators’ backgrounds are in visuals, having worked in art departments on films like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Men in Black 3, and Ice Age 2.


And of course it’s a dystopian future because it’s the future set in America. The middle class is extinct, the stock market is a mess, poverty is everywhere and acid rain burns people… very unimaginative. Just take whatever naysayers on the news are barking and make it your comic’s reality.

As it’s a first issue, I’m sure some of the questions I’ve asked get cleared up in later issues, but I’m really not interested in finding out.

Dr. 2 Issue 1

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