Swag Patrol #2
Written by: Rubyn Warren & Gabe Smith
Art by: Mark Marvida and Marvin Marvida
Published by: Fantasy Art Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

I thought Swag Patrol #1 was a decent read. I was really happy to see a book that featured a nearly all African American cast and that the three main superhero characters were all black as well. Now Swag Patrol #2 is back and the first glaring difference from the cover is the lack of a Powerverse logo. It seems that the whole Powerverse thing (connecting multiple titles from independent artists and bringing them together under one universe) has already imploded and titles, like Swag Patrol, have left the Powerverse. There’s more of a story there that I won’t get into with this review.

After defeating their first supervillain in issue #1, Mya (AKA Mindset), Chris (AKA Blaze), and Rashad (AKA K-Swag – I will note that I am not a fan of this codename) our enjoying the team’s new found popularity all over social media. The evil organization we met in the first issue really doesn’t come into play here. The issue focuses on the kids in school, on the police pissed off that Swag Patrol is sticking their butts into police matters, and the introduction of another super villain.

While Swag Patrol found their first supervillain to be a cakewalk, this new bad guy isn’t such a pushover. I liked this aspect of the book immensely as these kids just don’t walk into a battle each and every issue and easily defeat some bad guy. Not every battle should go their way, especially for a group of novice superheroes.

I’ll once again point out the excellent artwork of Swag Patrol. The art and color team of Mark Marvida and Marvin Marvida really make Swag Patrol #2 pop. The book looks damn good and they should be damn proud of the end result.

If I have any problems with Swag Patrol #2 I would say it is still the stilted dialogue, especially in the use of urban colloquialisms. The dialogue sometimes comes off very nineties and sounds like it was written by some white guy who thinks this is how black kids talk today. Now, series writers Rubyn Warren and Gabe Smith are both black so I’m not sure why the dialogue does seem so stilted to me. But here’s one page from Swag Patrol #2 and I’ll put some of the dialogue from one of the panels below.

“Wassup, Rashad and Chris.”
“Lawrence! What’s good, Sergio?”
“I’m good, playa. I see you putting the moves on Denise!”
“Nah. We just friends.”
“Riiight!”

The next panel has a dude saying, “Realmente loco, yo!” I don’t hear kids talk like this. Now I’ve been out of high school for a hot minute but this is the kind of talk I remember hearing back in the nineties, back in the Budweiser “WHAAAAASSSSSAAAAAAP” era. You can look straight at me and say, “Ryan, you are wrong about this.” But I live in a fairly urban area and I don’t hear kids (especially African American kids) talking like this. For me it brings a fairly well done comic down a bit. I also realize that I said the same exact thing about Swag Patrol #1 but the dialogue here feels even more wooden.

Beyond that I found Swag Patrol #2 to be a fairly solid issue that built on the foundation of the first issue. I liked the plot and thought the issue moved pretty well. Out of the three issues I’ve read thus far (including the zero issue) I will say that issue #2 is the best thus far. I hope this title continues to get stronger as time goes on and look forward to the next issue.

RATING: B

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