The world of Steve Orlando, Davide Tinto and Francesca Carotenuto’s Commanders in Crisis continues to be one of the most interesting recent series to come out of Image Comics. The Crisis Command are determined to prevent the apocalypse from the only Earth left in the multiverse. This second issue gives us a little insight into what crisis is ahead for our heroes and the past they likely all shared. Minor spoilers for the second issue of Commanders in Crisis ahead!
The Crisis Command is doing their best to protect the people, but it seems not all of the American populace approves of their appearance. Vigilantism getting in the way of traditional police duty is a common topic among recent superhero media, but what makes this truly interesting is the backstory for the members of the Crisis Command. Each member was a landmark president from an alternate universe, changing the United States greatly during their presidency. Unfortunately, their universes were destroyed by some unknown force that appears to have tentacles.
However, it appears that the world is doing everything it can to stop the Crisis Command from saving it. Several members of the United States Congress are doing their best to take the Crisis Command’s activities off of the street, while a potential terrorist group attempts to make them look worse.
Orlando continues to impress with how grounded the story of Commanders in Crisis is. This Earth feels much like our own, diving deep into the political landscape we find ourselves in today. This is most noticeable in the characters’ discussions about their pasts, especially the issues each had to overcome before and after their presidencies. Each member of the Crisis Command seems to have some depth behind them. The question is whether or not that depth will be explored in a natural way.
Tinto and colorist Francesca Carotenuto bring out a striking combination of intrigue and excitement with their artwork throughout this second issue. This is most noticeable in the panels showing Prize Fighter’s backstory, taking him through a purple void filled with some interesting particle affects to make it feel otherworldly. The fear covering his face during this sequence showcases the intense emotions gripping Prize Fighter after being forced to leave his Earth behind when it appeared to be only moments away from destruction. Those first five pages go a long way in endearing me to Prize Fighter. I hope that the rest of the team receive something similar in the following issues.
That is not to say the other members didn’t have time to shine. Sawbones and Seer each had excellent moments during this issue, each dealing with issues that challenge their ideals and show off their character. I hope we see something similar from Frontier and Originator in the next issue, as it seems they just had a full plate served in front of them.
The second issue of Commanders in Crisis was definitely not as compelling as the first issue due to a lack of characterization from some of the members of the Crisis Command. However, those that did receive attention, such as Prize Fighter and Sawbones, kept my attention and made me excited to read more. The art from Tinto and Carotenuto excellently enhanced those moments. Hopefully the next issue leaves me feeling the same way.