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‘Pearl #2’ (review)

Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by Michael Gaydos
Published by DC Comics


The first issue of this title introduced an intriguing concept.

We were introduced to Pearl, who is an incredible tattoo artist. She is also a very skilled assassin in San Francisco. Bendis and Gaydos have created a very full and detailed world and that just continues in this issue.

The issue opens on a flashback with Pearl as a kid talking with her mother.

Her mother wants her to apprentice for her. Then Pearl swears. And then her mother rescinds the offer.

It’s a very subtle scene and it’s completely character driven.

Bendis let’s the reader draw their own conclusions here and it’s nice.

We then land in the present. Rick Araki is with Pearl. He is thanking her for saving his life. Things get weird between the two of them. She asks him to leave and not come back.

Bendis sets up their relationship in a very tense way.

We then have a flashback again.

We see Pearl’s mom guiding her to be the tattoo artist she eventually becomes. It’s quiet and slow in a way we usually don’t see from Bendis. It’s a nice and welcome change. The dialogue even feels completely different than we are used to from him.

The issue goes on and we see Pearl getting ready for an assassination. She heads into a nightclub. She gets herself into that role. We have seen her quietly working on her art. Now at the end, we see her erupt into her killer mode. And it’s quite shocking indeed.

The art by Gaydos is quite spectacular. He really can do it all. The colors especially are a marvel here. It reminds me of a Seijun Sezuki film.

I’m in love with what is happening here. It’s a fine book with a great team that are both really stretching their skills to fine effect.



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