Last week, right after the holiday, my newest "1987 And All That" column went up at The Chemical Box. It's on a two-part Flash story that handled its villain interestingly but didn't do much else of note. This week, I did a review of the last issue of Reality Check on read/RANT that was none too positive, plus a piece on what makes a good second issue over at PopMatters. I feel like people talk a lot about first issues, and then beyond that it's more about "the rest of the series," but second chapters have as much or more riding on them as firsts, so I wanted to look at them more closely.
Something I Failed to Mention
In that second issues piece, I used Brain Boy #2 as an example of a second issue that didn't do as much as it could or should have. Also, a couple weeks ago, I reviewed the third issue and talked about how excited it made me for the future of the series. Turns out, as I learned for the first time during Fred Van Lente day, Brain Boy was actually a mini-series, meaning issue #3 was the last (for now). Obviously, that changes things. The second part of a three-part limited series doesn't necessarily need to do the same kinds of things as the second issue of an ongoing does, so it wasn't the strongest choice for my PopMatters post. To be fair, everything I said about the pacing of all three issues as a whole still stands—the first was great, the second dragged its heels, and the third got me excited again. But if all it was ever going to be was those three installments, that pattern is less aggravating than it would be as the opening arc of a longer project. Of course, it would still have been better if all three parts had been equally terrific, but I can live with two out of three if three is all I'm getting. I wish I'd realized earlier that Brain Boy wasn't continuing, at least not in the immediate future. It likely would've changed some of the things I've published recently, and also, I'm disappointed to lose a series I only just committed myself to as a fan. Hopefully, this first tiny run did well enough that Dark Horse will bring the character and creators back for more soon.