[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Cary Phillips
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Colors: Giulia Brusco
Donny regains consciousness as this issue opens and he learns a little bit more about what’s going on from the wheelchair bound Mike. As we learn about Mike’s past as the Eastsider, a vigilante in his own right. Mike volunteers to train Donny, but Donny isn’t convinced. Donny talks Mike into letting him do it his way as he makes the argument that time is of the essence. This leads him to a serious domination encounter in which a suspect is engaged. The dominatrix gets the best of him for the moment before he manages to escape. This leads Donny to follow up on a second line of questioning with a University official and it appears that the Police assassinate this fellow before Donny can get all the information out of him. Meanwhile, Percy is following a lead of his own.
As Mike’s backstory is revealed, this issue heads in a different well needed direction and the scope seems to open up. This is quickly closed off, though as the focus switches back to the present. At one point Donny admits his shortcomings and at first it seems like a breath of fresh air, but it all…
…turns into more cliche. There are some turns in this story that head the narrative down a very adult path. While this is not necessarily bad, the prostitution, domination and suggested S & M will certainly not appeal to all readers. As Donny is depicted with an intense desire to avenge his girlfriend’s death, the story itself shows why he’s not physically ready and suggests that this could not end well for Donny.
He definitely seems to be in over his head and there isn’t an indication that he will find a way to overcome this believably. The interaction with Mike is something we’ve seen before. Donny’s motivation is something we’ve seen before, and his character suffers from being not particularly likable or admirable. There definitely needs to be a connection with the reader. The supporting characters seem a lot more interesting than the lead character.
Vigilante: Southland #2 shows a little bit more promise than issue #1, but without making the lead character more interesting, the supporting characters will always draw away the focus from Donny. There’s very little inspiring about Donny, so there’s an uphill battle for sympathy every step of the way. Perhaps there’s an audience for this book, but it is an elusive one.