Written by: Chris Ryall
Art by: Gabriel Rodriguez & Jay Fotos
After an excellent start to the series, Onyx #2 is even better than the first. It’s loud and fast—like Predator on steroids. The action pulses along and you are holding on by a thread as the story blisters through the comic until the final, hugely integral panel sends shivers down your spine. Onyx #2 continues the story of Abigail Aquino and her fellow marines, as a xenomorphic spore has diseased the world and has mutated almost every living creature in the process. Now that Onyx and the marines have formed an unusual kind-of partnership, will that be enough to save the human race?
Chris Ryall has made an action science fiction comic that is so easily accessible, it takes mere seconds before you get sucked into its world. The characters are surprisingly fleshed out for marines. The way soldiers are presented in video games and comics can be ambiguous and two-dimensional in a way that makes you huff and tut at their clichéd backgrounds and behaviours; however, Ryall makes you emphasize with them and care for them in a way that feels genuine. The story itself feels different, even though the idea may have been seen in varied iterations before. Yes, spores have plagued humanity before and caused an end-of-the-world scenario, but Chris makes it feel new—something that is a real gift.
The mutations within Onyx #2 are by far the coolest thing ever; the TMNT-inspired beasts are varied and original, drawn beautifully by Rodriguez and given life by Ryall. The environment is eerie and alien—it is its own character. The vibrancy in the setting is an uneasy juxtaposition to see, as the threat of annihilation has never looked this bright and bold before. Jay Fotos uses a wide range of colours in his palette, and you can’t help but feel the likes of Toxic Crusader inspired it somehow.
Onyx #2 provides a cohesive and enthralling story that presents a wide range of characters that all have a unique appeal. Even the mysterious leader that pops up throughout feels different to other evil antagonists and it’s a refreshing thing to see. I absolutely love this series; IDW has been on the money this year, especially with their science fiction and I hope that the series continues to bring this energy and excitement to the upcoming issues.