Writer: Ryan K Lindsay / Artist: Sami Kivelä / Black Mask Studios

If you’ve read my review of the first issue of Beautiful Canvas, you’ll know that I was blown away. Seriously. One of my favorite comic book debuts this year. And surely one of the greatest openings of a comic this year. I’ve been eager to get my hands on the next issue of this warped tale set in a what much like our own with all types of folks who happen to be involved directly or indirectly with the shady underworld of hitwomen and hitmen and odd shit happening.

This issue starts hella strange but it is actually a great setup to explore more of the head space of the little boy that Lon has rescued, who is now residing in the home of Lona and her girlfriend, Asia. First, what…five pages in and this comic wants to remind me that it’s creative team will still be plating out this story with that grand element of surprise heaped on the side. This is a trip. Not only do we get a look into the head space of this kid but we also get an a better picture of Asia, the pregnant girlfriend of Lon and her amazing abilities that just fit right inside this stranger universe that we find ourselves in while reading.

It’s a trippy sequence of pages that throw you for a loop. We find out from Asia as she confides in Lon that the child is perhaps an experiment of some kind, her DNA is scrambled and he has a long road ahead of him if he wants to survive. Plus, I haven’t got gotten to certain hitwomen who lurk nearby yet. Writer Lindsay has a deeply ambitious for us and I am all on board. It’s much more bigger than I had initially imagined or even dreamed and that’s half the fun here with Beautiful Canvas. Shoutout to both Lindsay and co-creater Sami Kivelä on this because they’ve made their mark. Colored me impressed.

What type of magic this creative team has, I hope they stick to it because it just simply works. Again, the artwork is great. There’s some exquisite fighting scenes from Kivelä that take place towards the end of the issue that really translate action and urgency. There’s some panels that I would recommend new artists to study as well. Ferrier’s lettering shines in several place for different reasons but my favorite places are the beginning of the issue, the first five pages or so where Lon’s plus one: the kid is seeking shelter. Farrell’s coloring job, as she’s known to do, helps make it something you want to reread again just see how magnificent it looks coupled with the art.

There’s an introduction of more characters, more surprises around every bend and more lots more moments where my jaw just dropped in awe and horror. This is a consistent comic so hard that stays on brand so hard…it’s many things but boring isn’t one of them. Beautiful Canvas is shaping up to be one of my favorite comics of this year and it’s only two issues in. (Fun fact: the Boss, Milla is probably my favorite character. She’s obviously jaded and off kilter however she has the best lines, the best wardrobe and this issue she has a specialty vehicle that matches her shoes so I’m seriously fangirling a fan.)

9.3 infomationhiddenplacespeoplesecretlivesliesseverythingisclear out of 10

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  • Carrie McClain is writer, editor and media scholar. Other times she's known as a Starfleet Communications Officer, Comics Auntie, and Golden Saucer Frequenter. Nowadays you can usually find her avoiding Truck-kun and forgetting her magical girl transformation device. She/Her

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