RAPTURE #2
Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Cafu and Roberto De La Torre
Published by: Valiant Comics

I was completely captivated by Rapture #1 (read my review here).  The issue was just drop dead phenomenal.  I’ve been sitting here waiting for issue 2 to finally drop and it has finally arrived.  Thank God.  As I began to read I wondered to myself is there any way that this second issue could live up to what Matt Kindt accomplished with the first issue?  Luckily the answer is yes – this issue is pretty damn good.  It slows down just a bit but the slow down is important to the story.

In the last issue we saw Ninjak, Shadowman, Tama the Geomancer, and Punk Mambo head into Deadside to take out the villainous Babel.  Babel is building a tower to reach the heavens.  Just like the Bible story.  Except this time around, if Babel is able to complete his tower, it is pretty much curtains for everyone.

Tama’s friend inside Deadside, the warrior Rex, joins the crew and he explains the origins of the sorcerer Babel.  Rex knows where he came from, what the man is capable of, and how he forced Rex and many of his people living within the city walls to vacate the kingdom.  There is evil to be accomplished and nothing will stop Babel from achieving his ultimate desire.

After this tiny origin story there is a fight that leads to a captured soldier and a confession.  That confession leads the group to believe that even though they are in Deadside of their own volition, they may not be the freedom fighters they thought they were.  Their presence may be the one thing that spells doom for Deadside.

I don’t want to get too in-depth because there is a ton of plot in this issue.  The great thing is that in learning the plot it never feels like exposition.  Rather we see the purpose of the team being in Deadside, what it means to this world, and how they play into Babel’s plans.  It’s sinister.  It’s sneaky.  And there’s nothing better than seeing Ninjak in action.

I am going to point out once again that I am an idiot for missing out on Shadowman’s past adventures the past few years.  I abandoned the book pretty quickly when it relaunched.  The Shadowman in this book is not the same man I read when Valiant relaunched the character.  This Shadowman is the best Shadowman I’ve ever read.  Better than Englehart’s Shadowman.  Better than Ennis’ Shadowman.  Better than Abnett and Lanning’s Shadowman.  It is so above and beyond what Justin Jordan did in his Shadowman relaunch.  How he became the most interesting hero in this entire universe is beyond me.  What I do know is every move that Shadowman makes in this book keeps me on the edge of my seat.

Rapture is hands down one of the best books Valiant Entertainment has ever put out.  It is the best book that you aren’t reading.  If you are reading?  Then there is no doubt you are just as captivated as I am.  I never imagined that a book featuring Ninjak and Shadowman together would be the one book I would be dying to read every month.  I want to stand up and give Matt Kindt and Cafu a standing ovation.  The massive downside?  This is only a four issue miniseries.  My heart is going to ache when it’s gone.

In rereading this it really feels like an incomplete review.  If you are looking for someone talking most of the plot of this book then I’m sorry.  There is just so much juicy story in this book I hate spoiling anything for anyone who wants to pick this up.

RANK: A