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Comic reviews January 2007 – Welcome To Tranquility #2 (Wildstorm)

Posted by Adrian on January 29, 2007

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WELCOME TO TRANQUILITY #2

Gail Simone carries her creative and original story from Welcome to Tranquility #1. Tranquility is the town where retired superheroes end up, in all shapes and sizes, with their ‘old age’ aliments in tow (has that ever been done before in a comic?). Retired superhero Mr Articulate has been murdered. Simone has written in little excerpts (in comic form) from the heroes heyday and weaved into into Tranquility story – like a flashback. The introduction with a younger Mr Articulate displays his prowess as a savvy detective, as he uncovers the murderer at a dinner. Simone users the over the top pompous dialogue as a reference to English murder stories, and ‘murder most foul’ theme -ala Agatha Christie. It’s a nice little intro. Which is a prelude to the current mystery of Mr Articulate’s death. It also seems the running theme and question (according to the tabloids following the case) . Was Mr Articulate gay? Even though the excerpt intro shows the younger savvy Mr Articulate, reassuring his side kick, that ‘yes’, he will end up in the “sack” with the buxom woman of the story.

Enter the present day, after Mr Articulate’s murder at the Chik N Go Diner, Detective Lindo (the comics heroine) goes ahead an interviews the suspects, one being the thug kid Emo. Lindo knows that the suspect is one of the retired super hero’s, not one of the kids from the brawl at the Chik n Go diner. Lindo is great character, emotional, yet strong. There is a lot of sexual overtones in Tranquility. One confronting the assumption of a persons sexuality, the other dealing with female sexuality, wants, desires etc. As one reviewer mentioned in their review of Welcome To Tranquility. Gail writes Lindo’s sexual needs not as tramp, but a lot more honest and real. In one scene Lindo breaks down in front of one of the superhero memorial statues in the town centre, her sister comforts her. Her sister saying that it’s not like he seduced you, she informs her sister it was her that seduced him, “I did him, until I couldn’t breath”. Lindo sexual advances to Mr Articulate were due to her own desire towards someone that was kind to her, cared for her when she was ill. It’s a really nice touch on the heroines (Lindo) desire towards Mr Articulate (obviously purely sexual and nothing else, but with respect). We also learn that Mr Articulate was riddled with cancer and he didn’t have long to live.

We see Zeke enter the story as the zombie funeral attendant, and presumably the funeral home director. Another great character, with his snake (animal) hanging out of his lower abdomen. The older characters have an endearing quality about them, the older Tranquility version of The Flash; ‘Zig Zag’ running at superhuman speed to inform Lindo that there is a ruckus at the local bar. But in doing so is out of breath and has a walking frame.

Again, there is a lot of sexual innuendos, and general sexuality explored in Tranquility. But that is normal for a Simone comic, you have to respect that. Because of Simone’s masterful skills as a writer, she is able to craft and meld all the themes of sexuality into the one story, and this story being a murder mystery.

Great panel, with Mr Articulate’s older friends having a drink (at a local bar, just before another brawl takes place) in tribute to there deceased Friend, with a women on a swing, singing, how she ‘doesn’t want your guy, she barley wants hers’.

It’s a flawless comic, no doubt there. It’s also a comic that building it’s story, gradually. Gail Simone is one of the most talented writers of comics today, Welcome to Tranquility is a gem.

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