By Jim Zub, Leandro Oliveira, & Ross Campbell
With a strong opening issue, Pathfinder: City Of Secrets #2 capitalizes on its predecessor’s success and creates an even better story, with stronger character-building moments, and even more mystery to keep the readers intrigued. Last month saw a much slower paced story that allowed Jim Zub to explore the characters more effectively. One of the more successful methods of character development was splitting them up to allow readers individual access into characters’ motives and personalities. One of the few fears coming into issue #2 was whether some characters would be stranded with bad solo plots, or whether they could all be successful brought back together, but Zub was quick to reunite most of them, eliminating some potential problems.
While most of the crew was reunited, there were definitely those who stood out, and those whose story arcs fell flat. Merisiel seems to be the most mysterious, but also the most interesting character, especially with her checkered past, which is explored through the cliffhanger we were left with last issue. A little more is revealed about her past, with even more detail sure to come, as her arc was one of the highlights of the issue. Ezren, on the other hand, was the one who fell short. His “application” to join the Pathfinder Society isn’t expanded upon this time, as he looked to have one of the more interesting stories out of the crew, but since it wasn’t capitalized on here, hopefully more will be explored in further issues.
For a spiritual, holy Cleric, Kyra certainly seems to be getting into a lot of trouble, which contributes to the higher levels of action this time around. While issue #1 was slow paced with more story progression and less action, issue #2 is successful in including both as the crew are given a common goal that forces their differentiating stories to fully connect as they search for a killer stalking the night of the city of Magnimar. It was an exciting idea that was effective in allowing collaboration between the characters, especially since it gave us more time to see the conflicting personalities and interactions the crew have with each other.
Oliveira’s art remains fantastic and the original medieval-style look of his pencils combined with the colors continues to appeal to the eyes. Oliveira has an eye for detail, especially in the full-page panels where it’s clear he’s taken a lot of time to flush out every little aspect of the image. The excellent colors are really noticeable in the large, close-up shots of the faces where there is minimal lifework and more room for Campbell’s colors to stand out.
The overall quality of the book continues to improve. Whether it’s the art, the colors, the combination of the two, the character development, or the story progression, every aspect of this series seems to be on the right track, as each section justifies the reader’s reason for purchasing the book. With a lot of interesting characters, there are many more stories to tell, and with the creative team working in perfect sync with each other, the quality of the book will never be in question. However, some characters could deserve more “screen time”, but with only two issues in, there is plenty of time for expansion. With more mysteries and development surely to come in Magnimar, it’s clear why the book is called “City Of Secrets“.