The Gentleman #2 Review: Something Special

If you look on the cover of issue two of ‘The Gentleman’ where there’s the ‘M’ you’ll see a well dressed man in a top hat, all in black tipping his hat to you. The main focus of the cover of this comic shows the electric chaos and mystery of what occurs inside. What’s more everyone is black, from the woman on the cover who’s still shady to the two men in distress. It’s not just a about a level of inclusiveness or diversity, it’s a space where it’s not necessary to see life through a white gaze. Think Toni Morrison who wrote about the stories she was interested in such as the ghost story ‘Beloved,’ a narrative focused on the healing of black people for black people.

Once this second issue there lies an intimate moment between father and son that turns into a nightmarish moment. Oliver can’t seem to fight his fate. It may be that he would die young by this multi eyed, noire-like dark entity called the Void who seems obsessed with his genealogy. Just what is this darkness and how does it lead back to the woman Espere? Someone or thing is definitely after her. Always with a multitude of secrets she tends to ask more questions than she answers which Oliver hypnotically seems to answer. When he investigates the murder from the previous issue the story deepens. As Ralph says to Oliver in a mature, sensual moment is ‘ever the detective,’ where this puzzle is something he only seems to be the one to unravel. But in coming back to this void what is it about Oliver and his family that continues to haunt him? One thinks that he just accepts this will happen, won’t have children and most likely die a horrendous death. However, if Oliver grabs a moment he could see the possibility of breaking the chain. Somehow this could be happening now as Oliver sees himself as a boy and through the nightmare is interrupted. It’s as if the void continually has to reassert itself to exist. 

As in the first issue this installment of ‘The Gentleman’ has a level of artwork that is simultaneously familiar and original. Each panel is like a watercolor art piece or solidified in reality such as when the Void comes out or when death is imminent. Artwork as always take paramount over the narrative but here both must be together. Greg Anderson Elysee as the writer with Massimiliano Veltri (Marco Pagnotts, colors) (Marco Della Verde, letterer) doing the artwork tells a powerful story. Here we have a man who is doing his job yet faces an unimaginable trauma. Reading this comic book is a must.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 634 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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