KID LOBOTOMY #2 BY PETER MILLIGAN, TESS FOWLER, AND LEE LOUGHRIDGE
Plot
Characterization
Art
Summary
KID LOBOTOMY #2 doesn't hold back in plunging into the chaos of the Suites. While at times it can feel disjointed, and we can feel as lost as Kid does, Milligan, Fowler, and Loughridge ultimately provide an intriguing second chapter to Black Crown's debut series.
70 %
Satisfying Second Entry

KID LOBOTOMY #2 dives further into madness. Where its premiere issue acquainted the audience with the mad world of Black Crown’s debut series, KID LOBOTOMY #2 doesn’t hold back in throwing us into the titular Kid Lobotomy’s psychosis. At times it can be jarring, with little explanation offered for the bizarre transformations within Kid and the lower depths of the Suites; but nothing is clear in KID LOBOTOMY #2 because nothing is clear for Kid Lobotomy. Though the execution can feel disconnected, Peter Milligan, Tess Fowler, and Lee Loughridge’s sophomore issue is ultimately a satisfying piece of the puzzle.

KID LOBOTOMY #2 centers around the lower depths of the Suites alluded to in the first issue. Picking up from KID LOBOTOMY #1’s cliffhanger ending, we learn the outcome of Kid’s murderous run-in with his lobotomy patient. In the ensuing events, Kid recalls a previously forgotten memory from his rock star days, causing him to venture into the Suite’s mysterious depths where he undergoes a transformation. Meanwhile, his sister Rosebud connives information about Kid from Big Daddy while scheming to take ownership of the Suites for herself — no matter who she has to take down to achieve it.

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Descent into Madness

In KID LOBOTOMY #1, we learned that Kid suffers from memory lapses and often can’t tell how he gets from one moment to the next. So it was for the reader in the debut issue. It didn’t feel jarring in KID LOBOTOMY #1. The narrative transitioned smoothly through each moment, shifting from present to past to present again. But in KID LOBOTOMY #2, there’s a strange new sight at every turn. Whereas before we felt in sync with Kid’s passage through the narrative, this time there’s no telling which way is up. It’s a testament to just how far Kid is spiraling. However, the effect is that KID LOBOTOMY #2 feels less connected than the first chapter. Kid is an unreliable narrator, and we feel as lost as he does.

But that’s not necessarily a downfall of this issue. While KID LOBOTOMY #2 is a stark departure from its first chapter in terms of acclimating us to the mayhem of this series, it feels necessary to embrace its non-linear, disjointed nature. With this, Milligan, Fowler, and Loughridge continue building onto the unconventional setting of the Suites; the first issue grazed the surface, and KID LOBOTOMY #2 plunges right into it.

KID LOBOTOMY #2
Image courtesy of Black Crown Publishing.

Pieces of the Puzzle

This issue introduces two new characters: Adam Mee, a washed-up novelist who acquires a key to the Suites, and Brigit Spooner, the Suites’ newest hire who inadvertently gives Adam that key. But before KID LOBOTOMY #2 can explore their individual roles in the arc, they’re set aside to spotlight Kid.

Brigit appears intermittently throughout the issue, both adjusting too easily to the horrors of the Suites and yet still questioning her own sanity. Adam Mee, on the other hand, gets a brief introduction and then is absent for the remainder of the issue. There’s the sense that they’ll both come into play as the arc comes together. But for the moment, they aren’t explored enough to understand their presence in the story.

The characters of KID LOBOTOMY are all as nebulous as Kid perceives them, but his sister Rosebud is the most elusive. She’s ruthless and conniving, and her preliminary introduction in KID LOBOTOMY #1 shows that she’s meddling in deeper affairs than anyone else is aware. As KID LOBOTOMY #2 reveals, she’ll go to any lengths to achieve her own ends. However, the changes in her disposition can be a bit hard to follow. She doesn’t seem to have a clear rhyme or reason for the things she does. While it’s all a part of who she is as a piece of this story, it makes her a bit difficult to understand.

Kid continues to be a weirdly likable lead, both charming and insufferable in the best way. Whether he’s waxing poetic about Kafka and the harp or smiling insincerely at his hotel guests, Milligan is weaving an interesting persona for Kid, who’s brought even further to life by Fowler and Loughridge’s art.

KID LOBOTOMY #2
Image courtesy of Black Crown Publishing.

The Art of KID LOBOTOMY #2

As this second chapter goes full Kafka, artist Tess Fowler perfectly captures the grotesque imagery the Suites have to offer. From the shapeshifting Ottla to Kid’s metamorphosis, KID LOBOTOMY #2 is full of visual horrors. This issue displays a whole range of images; when characters aren’t becoming actual monsters, Fowler’s designs are distinct and full of charm. She transitions KID LOBOTOMY #2 effortlessly through each horrific and appealing moment.

Lee Loughridge’s colors provide a new atmosphere to Tess Fowler’s art, showing the real scope of what colorists can provide. Fowler has often worked with colorist Tamra Bonvillain, whose impeccable colors can be seen on the cover. Yet Loughridge’s colors give Fowler’s art an entirely different feel with his signature style, painting opposing pages in complementary colors. Both artists transform Fowler’s pencils in their own distinct way.

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Final Thoughts

Milligan, Fowler, and Loughridge waste no time digging into Kid’s psyche and taking the reader along with him in this intriguing second chapter. But while KID LOBOTOMY #1 let the reader feel in sync with how Kid perceives the world, this time we get a little lost in the chaos. However, it all feels like a piece of the grand scheme. Though KID LOBOTOMY #2 feels a bit disjointed in terms of plot and characterization, there’s the implication that future installments will serve to fill in the gaps, as the narrative has proven thus far to not rely on a linear structure. At the close of this arc, I trust the story of KID LOBOTOMY will come together like a crossword puzzle.

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