By: Keith Giffen (Writer), Tom Raney, Scott Kolins (Artists), Andrew Dalhouse, John Kalisz (Colorists)
The Story: Stealth shows what she can do, Jediah talks about potential alliances, Captain K’rot and Blue Beetle are introduced, while ‘’The Hunted’’ show goes on. In the Larfleeze back up, the greedy ring-slinger tries to hire people to retrieve his stuff.
The Review: Well, Keith Giffen has my interest here. With the way the whole thing started (the first issue, not the abysmal New Guardians annual), it seemed like he had a good hold on things, with a solid story and characters that could become quite interesting in their own rights. I, however, had no idea that this title could go farther in its own setting and theme. Even though the characters are central, there are quite a lot of other things that are developed and further explained here.
One of them would be ‘’The Hunted’’, the game that is shown on Tolerance, which is also the name of the opening arc of this title. In this issue, we see the political fallouts of such a show, how the head announcer feels all about it and how Lady Styx is seen by the important people on the planet. It shows how the game is explained to children with the hilarious first page of the comic and it shows just how other people might feel being introduced to such a violent game, courtesy of the introduction of Blue Beetle to the game. There is a lot of information about the society and its political nature introduced here, most of it being very interesting and well thought-out.
What’s also well-thought of would be the use of humor in the issue, helping the reader with the darker stuff. The fact that people are being hunted and killed in an intolerant and downright violent and murderous planet is much easier to read when there are some jokes thrown here and there, an area where Giffen excels. Be it with some of the hilarious moments with Captain K’rot, some of the explanations for ‘’The Hunted’’ (the first page really is something) and some of the dialogue, the jokes keep on coming, albeit not in any way that hinders the plot.
If there is a little weakness though, it would lie in the pacing. Already, the book is juggling many characters, with some of them not receiving enough attention as it is. From what I understood of the first issue, Jediah Caul is supposed to be the main protagonist, yet he does not receive that many pages and panels when compared to other characters. With that many characters supposed to appears and some that are still being introduced, it seems there are too many fronts to cover, which does weaken the book a bit.
However, there are still some strong pieces in the main narrative and some more in the backup featuring our favourite greedy orange lantern (who is actually the only orange lantern): Larfleeze. In the backup, Keith Giffen manages to give us a small, yet funny story showcasing the oblivious and avaricious Larfleeze as he tries to solve the mystery of who exactly dared rob him of all his stuff. The dynamic between the intelligent ‘’butler’’ and the Orange Lantern is what makes it so funny, with the logical person being in constant contrast with the energetic and sometimes stupid Lantern. Still, it is a funny little tale that is worth the time, albeit it is not meant to be a riveting tale or an exploration of the titular character in any way.
What is also worth the time would be the artist’s work, with Tom Raney doing some splendid work here, especially with the background and architecture. The slums looks properly dirty and inhospitable, while the rich area looks futuristic and well-designed, doing a great contrast in key places. His poses and facial expressions are also very good, helping the humor of Keith Giffen’s script very easily in key places. In this, he is also helped by Andrew Dalhouse, who does a fine job of complimenting the work of Raney with his light effect and use of unusual colors for both the characters and environment. The backup is also nothing to laugh at, with Scott Kolins doing some solid work there as well, greatly helped by John Kalisz with his bombastic colors.
The Conclusion: The second issue of Threshold impress with its humor, its good use of its concepts and its general actions scenes, even though there seems to be small problems with the pacing and the juggling of its growing cast. The whole thing, though, is enhanced by Tom Raney’s art and the fun backup provided with some good art by Scott Kolins.
Hugo Robberts Larivière