With special holiday deals going on and their sales base constantly expanding (look for Double Take Comics in Barnes and Noble!), Double Take is showing that Bill Jemas never lost the savvy that put him on top early on in his career.  It’s been fascinating to watch this company as it rapidly builds and expands.

Unfortunately, SOUL #2 is lacking in the excitement that is following the publishing company.  This isn’t to say that there isn’t some incredible scenes and some decent action, but rather, the way that it is delivered leaves a sort of journalistic feeling that leaves much of the narration detached and unemotional.  Ultimately, this leaves the characters less rounded than one would desire.

CLICK: Our interview with Matt Summo of Double Take’s DEDICATION!

Issue 2 focuses on Ben and how he survived through the previous night.  He’s telling his story during an interrogation from the local police chief.  Because of this, he’s essentially reporting the facts of what happened, and is pretty detached from the telling- while there’s a lot of action, there’s no real feeling to it.

The plot so far has been pretty interesting- issue one gave us one of the biggest peaks at the origins of this version of zombie-ism.  This issue hasn’t added much to the overall plot or universe, serving more as a recap to Ben’s personal story, which reads like a quick list of ways people died.  Essentially, this is what it is- Ben’s explanation of why he’s alone with a stolen car in a house that’s not his.  It also explains the car explosion from RISE #1, and gives us a bit of a cameo of RISE #1’s Barbara- though her character kind of disappears.

What feels very strange about this book is the police chief’s attitude.  He’s extremely suspicious of Ben for some reason, and there doesn’t seem to be much reason for this, especially considering that the chief has been exterminating zombies for hours.

READ: Our review of Double Take’s REMOTE #2!

The only thing I can figure- and this is pure speculation- is that the worms that activated the zombie in the basement at the end of issue one are responsible for Ben’s revival as well.  I’d originally written off him waking up as a bullet that just brushed past his head, but now I’m wondering if I was intentionally mislead.  Was he perhaps actually killed by the bullet and revived by one of these worms?  With mention of aliens throughout, is it possible that these worms are extraterrestrial in origin, and part of a plan for extraterrestrial colonization?

z-men_nwsThen again, I’ve been wrong before…

The highlight of this issue for me is the art.  It honestly has carried this book so far- I find that I learn more from the art than I do the writing.  The flashbacks in this issue in particular are gorgeous.  There’s a much softer colorization to these scenes, with much thicker shaded pencils, that adds a grittier, rougher, scratchier look to everything.  Honestly, I liked the look so much, I want to see more of it in the future.  The four-panel two-page spread showcases this the best, in my opinion.  Again- I wish this was the consistent style throughout the issue.

While this issue raises some interesting questions- most particularly, what exactly is the situation in the basement?  I didn’t see a bite on the policewoman… does this suggest that she killed the basement zombie, or that the brain worms are communicable without requiring death or a bite?  If my earlier speculation is correct, then chances are high that the policewoman and Ben are both under the influence of the brain worms.

Unfortunately, this issue bears a close comparison to a zombie- it looked cool, but was emotionless.  As a standalone chapter, this issue falls short, but it did raise a few questions in my own mind, which will make me keep reading.  This is more of a credit to the overall plot structure of the universe than it is to the writing of this particular issue- the detached narration and emotionless dialogue left the characters feeling a bit flat.

CLICK: Check out our review of REMOTE #2 for more of Double Take’s shared universe!

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