The Uniques vol. 2: Paint It Black (#5 – 7) – Comfort Love and Adam Withers

3 out of 5

All of the positives – believable characterization, natural dialogue – of the first volume make the second volume an equally entertaining read.  Now that our leads are mostly past the formative steps, they get some youthful foes of their own to fight against – a group of goth girls – and Love and Withers prod their universe outward, exploring (in bits) the politics of heroism and the business of it as well, with cutaways to a reality TV-featured group of heroes who are struggling with the duality of smiling for the camera while not really committing any real acts of good.  Because of these different lines, our focus is somewhat divided; the bad guys come up a little short in the threat and motivation department (they suffer from one-dimensionalness), but our creators balance that out by having their team respond appropriately.

This is what Marvel and DC should be aspiring to.  Crossovers are great, but taxing.  I know when the universe gets gigantic, we can’t help but wonder What Happens If Book A Affects Book B?, but in applying that conceptually to everything, we often lose the simplicity of an ongoing good read.