Border Town #2 Review

Can't Resist The Call of The Hero
Border Town #2 Cover
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Writer: Eric M. Esquivel / Artist: Ramon Villalobos / DC Comics

BEHIND LA MASCARA

The second issue of Vertigo’s newest highly-acclaimed series begins in the past – specifically, that of the luchador-masked Quinteh. Young(er) Quinteh is bare-faced, and afraid of going to school. To give him courage, his mother tells him of their Kiowa ancestors, who “…would dance to push their own souls aside, and make room inside their hearts for spirits who didn’t know fear”.

She and Quinteh go to his room, a shrine of fandom to the wrestler ‘El Diablo Verde’ topped with a very familiar mask. While Quinteh re-lives his own superhero origin story, however, his present-day companions want nothing to do with heroics of any sort.

WHERE THEY FROM

Despite having come into contact with something undoubtedly otherworldly, Julietta and Aimi convince Frank that discussing the events they just escaped would buy the teens nothing but trouble. Even Blake, the bully, retreats home quietly. The skinhead that troubled Frank hides his wounds (which look curiously infected…) while quietly acknowledging his father’s poisonous rhetoric.

The one character in plenty of trouble is the shape-shifting chupacabra the kids dealt with. Mictlantecuhtli, Lord of the Dead, has sent a host of the chupacabra’s nightmare kin to hunt the critter down for violating the border between their world and ours – an act that could have reality-destabilizing consequences for both dimensions.

When the sharp-toothed shapeshifter jumps back across to Devil’s Fork, two more chupacabras are hot on his tail. The hunt turns into a clash on the streets of the town, and our four teen heroes are drawn into action once more.

INTERIOR DESIGN

“I guess I’m just tired of shit happening to me. Like I exist in the margins of my own story…”

When Frank gives the above quote, it’s just after a three-panel sequence of Aimi, Julietta, and himself coming together (quite literally) like a comic book team-up to help Quinteh. From issue one, this Vertigo comic has been making its superhero connection clear. In Frank’s case, a Green Lantern picture hangs on the wall of his room.

To that end, the talk of masks in this installment of Border Town is very in-line with superhero origins. This is enriched by a brief glimpse of each character’s home life, juxtaposing the inner lives of our cast versus their personas out in the world.

As the team-up becomes a rescue mission for the chupacabra, Aimi even marks the fugitive from the Land of the Dead as one of their number. He’s been reduced to a big softy fleeing demonic retribution; a far cry from the creature they first met.

Laying low in the curio shop from the previous issue, it looks as if things are going to get even stranger for our fledgling heroes as they venture behind the face of a seemingly innocuous storefront…

10 out of 10 “What Chew Taco Bout” Puns

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  • Live-action cartoon character, based on the tie-in manga inspired by the video game. Previous residences include The Disney Afternoon, the Turtle Lair, and Santa Destroy. Will edit for pizza and graphic novels.

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