Promethea vol. 2 TPB – Alan Moore

3 out of 5

More lushly illustrated, meticulously lain-out pages; more mature and complex thoughts and philosophies presented in a very readable, very understandable way.  More non-comic.

If Promethea is your bag – that is, a comic that is an illustrated story book, expounding on the author’s views on life and love and numerology – then I certainly can’t fault you for that, and the series is undeniably a master class on weening interested parties on to hefty ideologies, bringing in sex magic and tarot along the way.  Wrapping this in to a comic book format is inspired, but my issue here is that the series also fronts itself as a typical comic book with heroes and villains, when, past establishing those elements, they otherwise seem like put-ons.

Some club o’ baddies is still sending demons after Promethea, and so we get some battles – Sophie has the idea to call down different variants of the Immateria-dwelling titular construct into her friends and family to square off against multiple foes – and background elements like elastigel get their plot comeuppance in a widescreen issue.  These are fun, and, as usual, illustrated out the wazoo by J.H. Williams III and Mick Gray (though, in my grumpiness, the inconsistency with the layouts is distracting to me), but there’s again no sense of immediacy or stakes, and the small threads being woven through – namely the corruption of the multiple personality mayor – similarly seem like details sprinkled about just so we have something to talk about when we’re not dedicated full issues to tarot cards.

This falls in to Moore’s more “literary” works, then, but instead of feeling like it uses the medium as a springboard for exploration, it more reads like a dress-up comic book, dumbing down its ideas into pretty pictures for we masses.  As with volume 1, I can in no way deny the quality of all aspects of the book, and, again again, I can imagine this is a fantasically immersive experience for a particular type of reader, just turns out that reader ain’t me.