COMIC BOOK REVIEW: THE CHIMERA BRIGADE VOLUME 2 / AUTHOR: SERGE LEHMAN, FABRICE COLIN / AUTHOR: GESS / PUBLISHER: TITAN / RELEASE DATE: JANUARY 28TH
This second volume of The Chimera Brigade is a welcome return to an alternate 1938, a Europe where secret chemical weapons tests in the trenches of World War I have created a new generation of super-powered individuals. Now, another war looms as the sinister Dr Missbrauch seeks to start a conflict that will establish these powerful humans as the world’s new master race.
It’s a fascinating twist on history, one that’s packed full of the same ideas that were introduced in the first volume. This time, though, the story feels more focused and the plot tighter, although that same air of mystery pervades from start to finish. Once again, the reader is treated with utmost respect, eased into finding out information rather than having it dumped in huge swathes of dialogue; often the characters can be in the dark as much as we are, which makes us partners in their journey towards enlightenment. When they learn, we learn, and it’s their actions within the story itself that fill in the blanks as we go along.
It’s this aspect that makes The Chimera Brigade such immersive reading. Once started, you’re in until the final pages, finding questions answered yet still with enough desire to know more. There are moments where the story plays as expected, but also plenty of surprises, some of which seem to come out of nowhere but will doubtless have implications later on. It’s a joy to read and behold; the artwork looks deceptively simple at first glance, but the eye is quickly drawn to the details, aided by superb colouring to create the appropriate atmosphere for each scene.
Anyone who enjoyed the first volume of The Chimera Brigade will be delighted to know that its high standard has been maintained in this latest instalment. It’s a thrilling blend of superhero pulp fiction, alternate history and mythology that works incredibly well, one that isn’t afraid to mix often outlandish characters with actual historical personalities to majestic and intelligent effect, offering a story and images that will linger long in the imagination.
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