Things go from bad to worse and back again for our hapless hero-cum-villain in the sophomore issue of Impossible Jones. This latest chapter delves more into the mystery of our title character’s origins, revealing some fun and frightening details about her newfound powers, as well as shedding some light on New Hope City’s other heroes and even throwing a crazy new villain into the mix.
After a flawed but strong debut, Impossible Jones picks up immediately from where it left off: smack-dab in the middle of a flashback detailing how our hero got her powers. After managing to evade capture and somehow survive several, ahem … impossible situations, Belle decides to make good on her declaration of revenge and track down the people responsible for whatever it was that happened to her. Her pursuit of retribution will ultimately lead her to a confrontation, where even her new powers may not be enough to save her.
Writer Karl Kesel and artist David Hahn deliver an excellent second issue that improves upon the first and pushes the narrative forward in fun, unexpected ways. While the previous issue spent a great deal of page-time building the world and introducing a few too many ancillary characters, the focus here is almost entirely upon Belle. Both charismatic and somewhat amoral, Belle is basically Selina Kyle with the powers of Reed Richards (and maybe Venom a little?) and has enough personality to easily carry the book. Hahn depicts Belle as sexy in both a style that is both modern and classic, as only he can. The rest of the issue looks just as good, thanks to both Hahn and colorist Tony Aviña.
Kesel ups the ante with a tightly-paced story that deftly balances action, humor, and sci-fi weirdness. The dialogue is much improved, although there is still the occasional line or awkward inside joke that just feels out of place. Kesel’s writing is at its strongest during Belle’s inner monologue, brought to life perfectly in angled and off-kilter caption boxes–mad props to Comicraft’s lettering. Like any good mystery, Kesel raises more questions than he answers, slowly peeling back the layers of what we think we know. He also manages to explore new developments, such as Belle’s seemingly unconscious use of her new abilities and the mysterious device her team was recruited to steal in the first place, both of which may have dire consequences for all involved.