Review: Casanova: Acedia #2
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Matt Fraction, Michael Chabon
Art: Fabio Moon, Gabriel Ba
This week sees Image release the second instalment of Casanova: Acedia, courtesy of the inimitable Matt Fraction and artist Fabio Moon. Fraction is a busy bee these days- turning his hand to Casanova, Ody-C, Satellite Sam and Sex Criminals concurrently– and it’s nothing short of astounding that he delivers such quality to each project. In #1, the reader was re-introduced to Casanova Quinn, having come down with a nasty bout of amnesia- unable to remember his identity or any past experiences that brought him to where we is now- in a world in which a malevolent cult seems to be aware of his real identity and want him taken out.
Cass’ boss Mr Boutique, too, suffers from amnesia and has assigned Cass to decipher his past and identity; this dual amnesia works well, adding uncertainty, challenging the reader to question what to trust and allowing a whole series worth of secrets to be revealed. The dynamic between two characters so uncertain in their own existence and identity makes for great reading and lends itself to Fraction’s superb dialogue. Furthermore, the use of amnesia allows Casanova to enjoy a blank slate, simultaneously a refreshing venture for devoted readers and a helpful introduction to newcomers.
As always, Fraction’s dialogue is as snappy and economical as always, wasting little time to ensure the plot paces along nicely. A lot of humour permeates through each character’s individual identity, highlights including Irishman McShane’s immortal line “Abra-fookin-cadabra, boyo!”, which this reviewer will crow bar into any possible conversation from now on.
#2 maintains the film noir feel and structure apparent in the last outing and is better paced, now starting to develop the characters and ideas previously introduced. And there are a lot of characters to develop, with Fraction presenting a whole set of secondary characters to flesh out Cass’ quest for identity and answers, which feels a little confusing and overwhelming at times. Hopefully the vast range of supporting characters won’t muddle the overall plot as it progresses. New characters are introduced, such as the intriguing Thelonious Godchild, a street magician working with Cass to learn more about the cult and any possible connection it has with magic.
Moon’s art work is interesting; the pencil work isn’t especially pleasant- angular shapes in the character design, an unreal feel- but it compliments the tension that comes with mystery, secrecy and confusion; the same applies to Cris Peters’ colouring, using a gorgeous, subtle colour palette that compliments the film noir feel of the issue and allows the pencil work to speak for itself. The art work works well with Fraction’s dialogue and the action scenes are beautifully executed, such as Cass’ demonic confrontation and superb use of negative space reminiscent of Frank Miller’s work on Sin City.
There is also a mind-blowing back-up Kawaii-Five 0 Part 2, courtesy of legendary American writer Michael Chabon and artist Gabriel Ba, which while maintaining a cohesive colour scheme to Casanova, offers a little more chaos and absurdity to proceedings.
Fraction and Moon have started to hit their stride in Casanova: Acedia #2; the characters and the evoking the mind-blowing and compelling qualities of previous Casanova outings, which is promising. With nuanced artwork, sharp, economical dialogue and a rich plot about to unfold, Casanova: Acedia is an engaging and entertaining story of identity, espionage and demons.