War of the Woods: Season 2 (#1 – 8) – Matthew Petz

3 out of 5

A more polished version of Season 1, Matthew Petz’s Season 2 of War of the Woods continues his anthropomorphic animals versus War of the Worlds terraforming aliens shtick, expanding matters on both accounts: we reach out to a larger group of leads, and the baddies get a bit more structure and technology to show off.

While the series is essentially spinning its wheels – you can sense Petz avoiding dealing with the softball “magic word” concept from the first season, lamp shading it a bit and otherwise just focusing on the journey to the next animal / next safe destination – the short format (15 page issues) and event-focused structure, with each entry either introducing a new character or obstacle, make it entertaining. It’s almost like a re-do of the first round in that sense, but with better polish to the art, much better editing (the first season had a lot of typos), and some really cool, experimental paneling.

It’s also a good justification for digital comics in how Petz makes the page transitions, the digital slices made such that panels / dialogue appears at specific beats, and even, sometimes, an element on the page will be removed and replaced for effect. It still could do with some refining – not every dialogue bubble needs to appear one at a time – but I did find it more immersive than not.