Comic Book Review: Naomi #2
Naomi is the kind of book you end up with when world-building and character development go hand in hand. Naomi is a product of her environment, and the world around her is only as important as the way that she fits into it. That is what makes the mystery of her birth so enticing. Something clearly happened in this small town that no one is willing to be upfront about, so it will take a strong hand to turn every stone that keeps this girl from figuring out just who she really is.
How we transitioned into this next issue was intense because you would have thought that we would jump into progress towards answers, and at the same time you would have been proven wrong. Nothing is too exciting if it’s too easy. As I said above, this is one of those investigations where you have to be aggressive to get what you want. Especially when you’re someone only seventeen years old and taking on adults who have no reason to open up to a kid. Now even with this being the second issue I still have to wonder if this mystery could be so startling for the DC Universe. Reactions alone tell a story of their own, but you definitely want to jump on this ride hoping that the pay-off will be worthwhile. Till then, this is a journey to self-discovery and so far this story has been approached with the intent to engage us without losing us to the cliche of kids Naomi’s age. If there was ever going to be a dealbreaker for this series, it would have been crucial storytelling getting lost to trivial youth necessities. There might be some neglect towards the things right in front of her, but this is what you get when figuring out who you are is all that keeps you sane.
Investigation aside, there still had to be something drawing Naomi to the idea that there is more to her story. This second issue gave us a pretty big tease that should get some wheels turning for anyone who might begin to guess where her place of origin resides in the universe. The image we were given was as vague as it gets, but it creates a new sense of anticipation for this creative team being able to deliver as they take us down the rabbit hole.
The only area in Naomi’s world where I said that the second issue would need to pick up on is what life is like with her adoptive parents. No matter where mysteries like this end, it is always important to get to know the people who actually adopted her. At some point we had to either begin getting to know them or dropping hints that they are hiding something from Naomi. The execution of that introduction scene was handled very well because we could both see that they are very normal, and that they walk on eggshells about any ideas they could give Naomi that would motivate her to ask more questions.
Another impressive issue for the interiors done by Jamal Campbell. The first issue grabbed your attention for the quality of work on a large scale, though this issue dialed things back to show us what Campbell can offer when the focus is more intimate with these characters. Off the bat, I noticed a lot more consistency in the perspective, features in the faces, and effects used to capture key expressions. This made a lot of interactions for Naomi pop out from her seriousness. Where his work truly shined was the splash page highlighting Naomi’s dream. That was both unique and fantastical for something that doesn’t quite make sense at this stage of the mystery. All you know is that this one page might currently be the most important piece of art in the series. I’m glad that he did not skip a beat with the rendering of said battle. With that said, there was another splash page as well and that one did blow me away too. When Campbell really wants to bring a moment to life, he does not take shortcuts. Between both pages, his color work was perfect from depth to texture, to radiance.
Naomi #2 gave us everything they said it would and then some. There was emotion, there was plot progression, and then that cliffhanger at the end was one hell of a note to leave us on as we anxiously await for what might be the first big clue towards solving this mystery. I have to admit, this is the most exciting new character in the DC Universe because Naomi’s existence doesn’t rely on anything pre-existing. Her corner of the world has been carved out, and this is her time to find where that piece fits.