INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 BY G. WILLOW WILSON AND CHRISTIAN WARD
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 ups the stakes and does some world-building in the process. We meet a few new characters, learn more about Vess and Grix's pasts, and get a nice paced issue. Ward continues to take risks with some a great amount of panel variety and fantastic art.
97 %
EXCELLENTLY PACED
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Previously on INVISIBLE KINGDOM #1, G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward introduced us to Grix and Vess –two heroines who uncovered a conspiracy. Whereas Grix serves as captain of a cargo ship for Lux, Vess joins the Siblings of Severity. Along the way we met characters such as the enigmatic Mother Proxima and Rath, Grix’s kid brother. While the last issue ended abruptly, INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 answers more questions. Namely, how do the worlds of Grix and Vess collide? Why does Vess run away? What are the consequences of Grix crash landing on one of planet Qari’s moons? These answers and more await in this issue! Needless to say, INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 dials up the humor and raises the stakes for Grix and Vess.

The Stakes Get Higher in INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2

As INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 opens, we find both Vess and Grix in moral dilemmas given what the two discover. Indeed, Wilson explores the topic of obedience versus disobedience in this issue. Namely, Vess faces doubt as she discovers that Mother Proxima keeps a private account where she receives money from a Lux bank account. Meanwhile, Grix prepares for a meeting at Lux HQ in Duni to answer why the cargo is late. Soon we meet Oris Prime who Eline describes as a predator who can smell blood. Immediately, as readers we learn to hate Oris Prime because he’s not happy about the irregularity Grix finds in the cargo manifest.

INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2
Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books

INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 continues to carefully balance and move Grix’s and Vess’ subplots ever so much closer. At one point, Grix runs into two members of the Siblings of Severity who try to recruit her. If you recall in issue one, these nuns got Mother Proxima’s blessing to go to Dux. As for Vess, she realizes that Siblings of Severity is a hypocritical organization that takes money from Lux. Thus, it goes against the vision of the organization which is to give up the pursuit of wealth and beauty. Ultimately, the cliffhanger promises to close the gap between Grix and Vess.

New Characters and Moral Dilemmas Abound

INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 introduces us to a few new characters in Vess and Grix’s subplots. In the former, we meet Vess’ parents who want Vess to settle down and reproduce. But this goes against Vess’ desire to leave Rool in order to seek out her calling. In addition, we also meet Krikko, a devout monk who joins the Siblings of Severity after giving up the materialistic Lux life.

INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2
Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books

On the other hand, we meet Sub-Executive Oris Prime in Grix’s sublot — a sinister and menacing Lux suit. In fact, Oris Prime threatens to take Rath away from Grix’s custody due to Grix’s emergency landing. That is to say that INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 establishes its two antagonists with Mother Proxima and Oris Prime. I look forward to seeing their true colors in the next issue as the action ratchets up.

Also INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 has some more humor to break up serious moments. Most of it comes from Grix’s sarcastic remarks with her crew mates. One of my favorite jokes in this issue comes early on when Xether worries about the crew getting sent to a packing facility that reeks of feet. To this Grix replies that Xether should keep sighing and wring his hands and act like something is wrong to find out.

Ward’s Art Goes New Places In This Issue

Once again, artist Christian Ward continues to marvel as we see new places in this issue. While it’s brief, we see the foggy world of Rool with its elevated adobe-like houses. Later we see tranquil gardens in the monastery to suggest its simplicity. But Grix’s subplot is the highlight in this issue. Namely, when we meet Orix Prime, his facial expressions immediately tell us that he’s cold and calculating. Furthermore, Ward illustrates the encounter in a pearly white, sanitary look as a Lux blimp looms in the background. However, I think my favorite page in this issue comes towards the end of the story. Without spoiling anything, Ward draws a well done ten-panel page that communicates so much in so little. It’s quite a treat!

INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2
Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics/Berger Books

Ward’s colors also continues to be quite excellent as well. There’s something alluring about the way Ward colors wondrous planets and Lux’s bright lights. One of my favorite instances of Ward’s colors comes in a later scene when the Sundog encounters a freighter ship. While the freighter is brown and intimidating, the Sundog stands out with its orange and white streaks. I also enjoy how imposing Mother Proxima looks with her violet robes. Ward makes sure readers remember her long after they put the book down.

Closing Comments on INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2

With a much better pace and intriguing cliffhanger, INVISIBLE KINGDOM #2 is a great follow up. This is thanks to Wilson’s attention to humor and careful plot balance. Additionally, Ward continues to do stellar work in this series. We can’t help but root for Grix and Vess as they edge closer to their eventual meeting. I have a feeling there’s going to be a satisfying pay off in the next issue and it leaves me feeling excited.

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