By Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa (Story, Art, and Colors)
I honestly wish I could say something along the lines of “Sky Doll has done it again” and leave it up to the reader to discover how great this comic is on his or her own. But, since that would be a disservice to those coming to this website for a full review, let me just say that Sky Doll continues to be one of the most unique, vibrant, and controversial comics around. This is a high concept, philosophical story complimented by some absolutely incredible visuals. If you enjoyed part one, then by all means pick up this second issue.
Sky Doll #2 picks up where the first issue left off with Jehu, Roy, and stowaway doll Noa making their way to the planet Aqua to visit the planet’s religious leader, Gaia, as missionaries for the Papess Lodovica. On the planet Papathea, Lodovica deals with growing religious discontent as followers of deposed Papess Agape become increasingly more aggressive toward her style of leadership and religious guidance. As with the first issue, there is a great mix of social commentary, satire, sexuality, and political/religious intrigue. I would go into more detail about the story, but I fear giving too much away. Keep in mind, however, that this is a book for mature readers. I mention this because the sexuality is ramped up quite a bit and it is, at times, quite explicit.
Once again Barbucci and Canepa prove that they have a complete, complex, and consistent vision for both the characters and the world of Sky Doll. If I have any complaint with this second issue it is that the plot twists are fairly predictable. The characters continue to be strong and the writing as a whole is both biting and clever. This is a strong story made all the more engaging thanks to the interesting characters and a world with socio-political climate that begs to be examined.
As for the artwork, it continues to be stunning. The planet or Aqua is a visual treat and some images are both beautiful and disturbing. Barbucci and Canepa have a visual style that deftly combines the best of Disney, surrealism, science fiction, and horror. Everything in this book just works. This is one of the best looking books out there, without a doubt.
While this second chapter isn’t quite as strong as the first, but it still ranks as one of my favorite comics of this year or any. Sky Doll is telling a tale that works on a number of levels and it should be checked out by any mature readers looking for something different. I can’t wait for part three. (Grade: A)