COMIC BOOK REVIEW: RED SEAS BOOK TWO (FIRE ACROSS THE DEEP) / AUTHOR: IAN EDGINGTON / ARTIST: STEVE YEOWELL / PUBLISHER: 2000 AD / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
With Red Seas Book Two (Fire Across the Deep), and its prequel, 2000 AD is breaking new ground in bringing out a DRM free digital edition of a book without a matching print version.
Bigger than the first volume, this runs at over 390 pages, and is a black and white set of stories of epic proportions, collecting together adventures from 2000 AD comics stretching from 2008 to 2015. Again the stories are set in a universe of pirates, magic, mythology, science, lost worlds and the supernatural, and the narrative lead is (for the most part) Captain Jack Dancer.
Whether by design or instinct, the two volumes of Red Seas work very well split as they are. The first volume introduced a great set of characters, including charming Jack Dancer, various relatives, ex-girlfriends, two-headed dogs, gods, devils and even Sir Isaac Newton. This volume revisits all of these characters, adds more gods and historical figures and takes a grand tour back round the whole mythology of the series.
Although most stories focus on Captain Dancer, again the pace varies when other characters take the lead and although some stories are long, none sag to the extent that the longest story in volume one did.
From a story point of view, these adventures both add to and deconstruct (and in most places destroy) the assumptions underlying the setup of the Red Seas world. It also gets a little metaphysical in places though never spends too long away from the action. The tales entertain and the set comes to a satisfactory conclusion. There are plenty of moments to savour though the sheer creativity and world-building brilliance of the first volume is never quite matched.
Available now through a range of digital channels, this collection is highly recommended, though you might want to pick up the first volume as well.
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