While I can see what writer Priest is going for in his take on the controversial character U.S.Agent, the series in two issues has been a mixed result. There’s concepts within that are great but there’s far too many distractions. The result has been a choppy narrative that at times doesn’t quite make sense. U.S.Agent #2 continues the frustrating series that has me longing to read other works of Priest.
U.S.Agent #2 feels like it’s serving a few too many bosses. Priest takes us to the past and back again. The second issue fleshes out John Walker’s past while also trying to deliver some sort of conflict in the present.
John Walker is an interesting character. He’s the conservative “Captain America” driven my “Red State” ideals and that includes wearing his racism and bigotry on his sleeve. But, he does stand to fight for America and what he believes. He’s the bigot that’s right part of the time, as long as your “right” is a basic understanding of American ideals.
This miniseries has attempted to flesh out Walker’s history introducing us to his sister and giving us more of his trauma. We can see the beginnings of a troubled human being and with that some sympathy. Just some. He’s truly a horrible human being. And that’s part of the issue with the series and character. There’d be a great juxtaposition in having us cheering on his justified mission but at the same time questioning his other beliefs and him as a person. He’d be a horrible person doing what’s right. But, the series is taking too long to set that out. We’re getting too much of a character to dislike and that’s about it.
There’s also issues with how the issue is generally presented. The art by Georges Jeanty is nice and improved over the first issue. But, there’s not enough definition between the past and present making it confusing at times to determine what scenes take place and when. Joined by Karl Story on ink, Matt Milla on color, and lettering by Joe Sabino, the comic is fine to look at. There’s some really solid moments. But, the art doesn’t quite hook the reader enough to justify the sub-par story. There are some details that are great to the story visually. The use of confessionals, U.S.Agent being greated by the town, these stand out. The art fits more of the comedic tone of the series but the series doesn’t quite know if it wants to be a comedy or something else.
U.S.Agent #2, like the first issue, is a bit of a letdown. The creative team is top-notch and it might be high expectations that this series feels like a letdown. It’s possible by the end it’ll all come together for something greater than its individual parts. But, it hasn’t gotten to that point yet and as individual issues, the series has been rough. There’s so much better from the creative team that’s been or being, released, it’s better to spend your time reading those instead.
Story: Priest Art: Georges Jeanty
Ink: Karl Story Color: Matt Milla Letterer: Joe Sabino
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 5.0 Recommendation: Pass
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review