Sleeper Season Two #1
Quick Rating: Good
Title: Faith, Hope and Charity
On the run, trying to escape his past, Holden Carver gets a new “assignment.”
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips
Colors: Strachan With Sinclair
Letters: Jared Fletcher
Editor: Scott Dunbier
Cover Art: Sean Phillips
Publisher: DC/Wildstorm Universe
Okay, before I get into the meat of this review, allow me to voice a complaint about a practice I see way too often in comics. Why on Earth would anyone, rather than providing a proper credit box, simply run a list of names (just last names, mind you, not even first and last), not detailing who did what job and forcing anyone interested in such a thing to play detective? It’s not like a movie with big names where everyone recognizes everything. (Spielberg! Hanks! Zeta-Jones!) These people have worked damn hard to put out a good comic book – give them the full credit they deserve.
Okay, on to the actual book. While I was at a slight disadvantage, having only read the first issue of “Season One” and the prologue to this series that appeared in the Coup D’etat Afterword, this issue was very accessible, setting up the situation for even those with only a modicum of prior knowledge about the title.
Holden Carver has gone from being a deep undercover agent posing as a supervillain to an agent that feels betrayed by his agency and his former commander, John Lynch (whom Holden believes is still in a coma). When someone approaches him with an offer that will allow him to gain a measure of satisfaction, it’s clear that this “Season” of Sleeper will be quite different from the first.
This makes for a quite satisfying spy/espionage action/drama, and the story would probably work just as well without the superhero trappings, which is what holds me back from being the first book I’d recommend to someone looking for “superheroes with a twist.” It’s a solid book, don’t misunderstand, but for someone looking for a different take on superheroes I’d be more likely to recommend something like Powers, where it’s actually a new take on superheroics, as opposed to a book in another genre that happens to have superhero incidentals.
Sean Phillips is the perfect match for Brubaker’s story. He serves up good action and drama and the occasional appearance of the guy in spandex doesn’t look silly or jar you out of the story. (In fact, the look reminds me very much of Dark Horse’s The Escapist – Phillips would be a fine match for one of those short stories.)
So while I’m not exactly wild about this book, I did enjoy it and I think it does a fine job of setting up the new storyline. If you’ve been thinking about Sleeper and looking for a place to jump on board, this is the issue to do it.