Terminal Punks #2
Terminal Punks #2

Writer: Matthew Erman

Artist: Shelby Criswell

Colorist: Micah Myers

Publisher: Mad Cave Studios

This review contains spoilers for the entirety of Terminal Punks #1 (which is strongly recommended) as well as minor spoilers for Terminal Punks #2. 

In Terminal Punks #2 by Matthew Erman, Shelby Criswell, and Micah Myers, the comic digs into the groundwork laid by the first issue to explore and expand the dynamics between the band members as they are unwittingly preyed upon by monsters and agents of {Enoch} alike! Can they possibly escape the creature-infested John F Kennedy Airport without physical or emotional malady?

Terminal Punks #2
Only a comic about music could have comedic timing this perfect.

Why you gotta go and make things so complicated? 

In my review of Terminal Punks #1, I commented that the small glimpse of the protagonists we were given in the first issue served as an effective hook, whetting the reader’s appetite for issue 2. Fortunately, Terminal Punks #2 is aware of the potential in this setup, and delivers on it magnificently.

Just as issue one was largely narrated by a single character, Terminal Punks #2 heavily relies on the perspective of a single band member – but this time it is Sway, longtime best friend of previous issue narrator Kee Avery and the still-as-of-yet-unnamed band’s bass player.

Color-coded narrative boxes with symbols to indicate different characters: thanks, Terminal Punks!!!

While Kee was an anxious narrator, Sway is… Well, the term “himbo” is thrown around an awful lot these days, but if the “This Shirt Kills Fascists” top fits, wear it, right?

Although the details we learn about Sway as he narrates are very interesting – including the foundations of a romance that we can hope continues in a future issue – one of the most fascinating aspects of Sway’s perspective is what it shows us about Kee.

Terminal Punks #2
Excellent character exploration in Terminal Punks #2.

Because Sway and Kee have been friends for so long, when Sway’s life passes before his eyes, some details about Kee’s life come along for the ride, and we end up learning additional details about Kee beyond what was divulged by the first issue in spite of the fact that that one was narrated by Kee himself.

Let’s Make Some Noise

One of the many clever elements of Terminal Punks #2 is the way the comic considers how the dynamics of the band might play out in their current action movie setting –- a vantage point that helps illuminate what makes a “band” a good idea in the first place: five distinct individuals, each making their own distinct noise, but together, making music.

The idea of harmonizing the thematic concerns with other elements plays out throughout Terminal Punks #2, and the comic in general – after all, who is a better foil for a villain of the establishment like Hart Kelsey than an authority-questioning punk band?

The Antagonists of Terminal Punks #2

Speaking of Hart Kelsey, the head of the {Enoch} corporation who is responsible for the mutant animals stampeding through the airport: he hardly appears in this issue, instead relying on his agent, a spy-movie assassin who infiltrates the airport (and is immediately attacked by a monster for the trouble).

The dance begins.

Although we don’t see too much of this villain in this issue, it’s a clever choice to have the capitalist figurehead step away from the fracas while sending one of his employees in to do the dirty work… never mind that the assassin might possibly become part of the mess, because that’s not really Hart Kelsey’s problem, is it?

Superb sound-effects.

This behavior helps cement Kelsey as a perfect capitalist villain: directly responsible for the devastation but unwilling to take any personal responsibility in resolving the situation (other than sending in his agents to make sure his name isn’t associated with the devastation, of course).

Plus, having the assassin on hand gives the mutant animals someone besides our heroes to wail on, which – thanks to the continued impeccable artwork of Shelby Criswell – is an amazingly entertaining spectacle.

Terminal Punks #2
Stay AWAY from anything that slithers!

Coming Up Next

We’re only two tracks into what promises to be a very bangin’ album – The Beat will definitely be looking forward to the next chapter in the Terminal Punks story! 

Terminal Punks #2
Into the Spooder-verse!

As a result of the shifting perspective between band members, we’re left to wonder who will get to narrate the next issue. We’re particularly looking forward to the issue when D’arby – who once stabbed Sway in the thigh just for reading her Spooderman comics – finally gets the chance to narrate, as it promises to be a truly chaotic experience.

Terminal Punks #2 is available today at a comic shop near you, or through the Mad Cave website.