The Surface #2, like its first issue, isn’t all that easy to define. The first could, at best, be described as an artistic mind-f**k that was, quite frankly, compelling. And now? Well it’s still very much the same, perhaps even more so.
The official description from Image:
There’s a traitor on the team, and a cityship arriving into the morphing utopia of The Surface will change everything. Just as the team finds what they were looking for—they are threatened by forces that might tear them apart!
This issue expands upon the first, throwing in more questions and seldom offering anything in return as the title dives deeper down the rabbit hole, until the second half. Then it starts to gleam a little bit of knowledge and develop a slightly more sturdy plot. In short, there’s plenty of development and if you got through the first issue, you’ll enjoy this all the same.
In terms of writing, it’s hard to gauge how much of Ales Kot’s work is random for the sake of random or a well-crafted story told rather well. A lot of the issues seen in the first issue start to make a slow reappearance, so a few dots can be connected, while Kot constantly strives to define, explore and portray the concept of Surface. It’s definitely a comic for lateral thinkers, but that only makes it all the more unique.
Visually, the artwork still feels like it could make or break the title for some. Langdon Foss is a talented artist, but the pencils are loose curvy and, when combined with the vibrant shades of colour from Jordie Bellaire, make for a comic reminiscent of various 60’s art. The hallucinogenic aspect might disagree with some, but it does add to the main themes.
In summary, this is a strong follow-up to a bonkers opening issue. Does it make sense? No, not completely, but that is very much part of the point.