The Unwritten 2 (August 2009)

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The second issue introduces magic to the protagonist for the first time. Unfortunately, it’s one of the issue’s weaker moments, because his reaction is nowhere near intense enough.

The series has become, at least for the moment, a quest story–the quest for knowledge–and it’s definitely an approach Carey is comfortable playing with. The revelations we get this issue only raise more questions and these are new questions, the ones from the first issue are going unanswered so far.

I suppose Carey does answer some of the non-questions resulting from the first issue’s conclusion, but those answers come on these theme pages–like a newspaper clipping or a bunch of internet chat messages–it’s clearly not what’s really going on.

The issue ends on an awkward note, one to totally shake the reader and the protagonist. The reader and the protagonist get new information at the same time.

CREDITS

Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity, Chapter Two; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Peter Gross; colorists, Chris Chuckry and Jeanne McGee; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

The Unwritten 1 (July 2009)

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The premise of The Unwritten is simple–what if a Harry Potter-like character turned out to be real–but the way Carey weaves the story, the intricacies, the endless setups, makes The Unwritten so much more than its concept, it’s hard to remember the premise was ever simple.

Carey introduces maybe nine things this issue–protagonist Tom Taylor’s agent being in on the secret, Tom’s disappeared father forcing him to remember a literary geography, it goes on and on. Maybe nine is being conservative. I’m not sure there’s a single thing introduced this issue Carey isn’t going to follow up on. It’s incredibly dense, but so pleasurable, it doesn’t even seem like a hard read.

Gross’s artwork is also key. He gives the story a light feel, sort of an affable tone, then introduces these horrific scenes (the Nosferatu-influenced villain). That affability fits the protagonist perfectly.

Just fantastic.

CREDITS

Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity, Chapter One; writer, Mike Carey; artist, Peter Gross; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

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