The Last Book You’ll Ever Read #2: Inevitabilities and Causes

Jimmy Gaspero takes a look at the second issue of the sensually thrilling and philosophical series!

At the risk of sounding even more like GateCrashers’ resident Pop-Pop, I need to mention the Vault Undressed variant covers for this issue, which are scandalous and definitely worthy of that black bag they put them in. One is done by main artist Leila Leiz and colorist Vlad Popov and the other is done by Richard Pace. I’m not sure which I like more, but I will say that for the Leiz/Popov cover, it took me a while before I noticed the heads of the two dead guys.

Credit: Cullen Bunn/Leila Leiz/Giada Marchisio/Vlad Popov/Jim Campbell (Vault Comics)

Getting in to the issue itself, we find Olivia Kade on her book tour and she’s met with angry protests. Connor Wilson, who is hired to protect her, still hasn’t read the book per Kade’s instruction to him, but he wonders if her treatise on the downfall of society and humanity’s descent into cruelty isn’t accurate. At the signing, Olivia again reads from Satyr and if the theme of the passage from the first issue was about binary of the predator or the prey, this time it is civilized or wild, with everything going swimmingly well for two pages until a couple is caught having loud and aggresive sex. The question remains as to whether Olivia’s book is merely documenting society’s decline or is perhaps causing it.

Bunn has created a fascinating character with Olivia Kade and the script shines in the scenes between Olivia and Wilson as the latter tries to dig deeper to figure her out. The dynamic between the two feels like something out of an old Hollywood movie and that sensibility is mixed in with the modern issues of violence, depravity, and sex. It is interesting to see everything play out.

Leiz’s artwork works incredibly well in telling this story. There are several times when a close-up of a character’s face and eyes are shown outside of a panel. Or they are overlapping with a couple of panels and the pages of dialogue pass in the looks. The aggression of the crowds and Olivia’s fear are captured so well. The last few pages, which switch between a full page fight scene and a full page sex scene, show the ability to be dynamic and sensual. And that last page is sexy as hell.

Credit: Cullen Bunn/Leila Leiz/Giada Marchisio/Vlad Popov/Jim Campbell (Vault Comics)

Both Giada Marchisio and Vlad Popov are listed as colorists and because of them, I appreciate how bright and alive this book looks. With a story like this, I think there could have been a tendency to make the book look dark, but I don’t believe that would work. Jim Campbell is the letterer and as always, his lettering never gets in the way and is absolutely crucial to this story, especially with certain panels being heavy on dialogue. The lettering during the fight scene was particularly well done.

There’s definitely more to the story Satyr as Olivia is once again assailed by a protestor who mentions “The Wilding.” And after two issues, I’m not concerned that I don’t know more about where the story is going. I am surprised that the relationship between Olivia and Wilson predictably played out in this issue, but I’m still invested in seeing where things go from here.

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