Review: Never Ending #2
Evil genius Archibald Crane’s goal has been to kill the seemingly immortal hero Charles “Chuck” Baxter—and now, shockingly, it’s Chuck’s goal, too! Earth’s only superhero makes a devastating deal with the devil, as the past comes into focus and Chuck’s losses become too much for him to cope with!
Never Ending, the story of one hero making a deal with his nemesis to end his own immortality, continues this week with the second of its three issue run. The story is written by Adam P. Knave and D.J. Kirkbride with art by Robert Love. Heather Breckel and Felix Perez handles colors with Frank Cvetkovic rounding out the cast with lettering. The first issue was a soft open, but does the penultimate installment kick things up a notch?
Chuck, our super strong and immortal hero, has made a deal with his archenemy Archibald Crane to end his life. Archibald once was Chuck’s friend and the scientist in charge of investigating the extent of his powers, but something happened and the two men had a falling out. After years and years of living without aging a day and outliving his entire family, Chuck is ready to end it all. The only man that could possibly end his suffering is Archibald. As the mad scientist who is now nearly more machine than man goes about looking for a way to puncture our hero’s skin, Chuck starts thinking about his life and how he found himself in such a lowly state. Archibald has made a breakthrough, but will he follow through on the agreement as promised? Can the mad scientist do one last favor for his former patient or will he use his discovery as an end to his own means?
Knave and Kirkbride write a leisurely paced issue. The work going in to killing Chuck is laid out as the main story, but it is largely used as a mere framing device to tell a story about immortality and how it’s a lonely road being a hero. There are times when we get some real emotion, but largely it just rings hollow and shows us why our hero is the way he is. There’s one issue let and things don’t really get into what’s next until the final pages. Time is running out and things are just meandering along. If there was something new offered up in the way of a sad hero who is immortal, it wouldn’t be so bad. Love’s art is good overall, but he loses some of the details from last issue. From featureless faces to solid looking houses, some things just run together. The shifts between the various decades are represented in the art well though. Breckel and Perez’s colors are apt though they do come off looking flat.
Bottom Line: Never Ending is a story with a really interesting premise and a good story to tell with real emotion, but the execution isn’t quite there. This may be one that reads much better when taken as a whole, so we’ll know for sure next month. For now Never Ending is a missed opportunity to do something unique. 2/5