Interceptor #2 slows things down a bit from the vampire/mech battles of the first issue. But Donny Cates takes advantage of the relative lull to build the comic’s world, centering on the sandy settlement where a group of humans have taken refuge after radiation and vampirism ran wild on Earth. Poli and Weep continue to be our main protagonists, an unlikely duo both fighting for a similar cause – to eradicate the vampires and take back the world at all costs, except their predicaments are intensely different. The second issue relies on Poli’s ignorance of Earth’s inner workings and Weep’s army family to move things forward, and Weep’s settlement highlights the dangers of living in a society that has been fractured by war.
The issue starts with Poli and Weep in a vampire prison, about to be brought to the Baroness of the North until a prison break occurs. While Interceptor #2 is a little leaner on the action than Cates’ introductory issue, there’s still room for crazy action sequences, and whole pages are devoted to Poli and Weep showing off their fighting skills. Though Weep’s only a human, she’s learned a few good tricks including stake slingshots and hand-to-hand combat; and Poli holds her own as well, except she succumbs to a wound inflicted by a vampire during their fight.
Dylan Burnett’s art continues to impress, especially with the vampire designs and depiction of fighting panels. The color scheme is also excellent, and probably one of the biggest draws to Interceptor; the purples and blues of Earth relay a ravaged wasteland, and the pink neon of the vampire city highlights the disparity between Weep’s people and the vampire’s reign. In this issue, Cates brings up the hierarchy of Interceptor‘s world: the vampires live in the city and keep humans as slaves, draining their blood in exchange for food and radiation medications, while the humans who don’t want to bleed for the vamps are forced to survive on the outskirts in horrible living conditions.
It’s an effective world-building moment, even better because it doesn’t specifically rely on exposition to get the point across. As Poli drops in and out of consciousness, she catches glimpses of the world around her. Most affecting, though, is the war that humanity is attempting to wage on the vampires; it’s driven primarily by Weep’s father and the children in their village, who are trained to take the fight to the vampires. Poli reflects on this, and Interceptor #2 doesn’t spend a ton of time on the philosophical implications of this; but the idea is solid, and it’ll be interesting to see how Cates deals with this later.
While this issue might not hit the highs of Cates’ opener, the step back to explore character and Interceptor‘s world is still a useful, necessary excursion. The series continues to be a fun trip, one that’s not bogged down by a too-serious plot; instead, it’s just the right amount of action and pathos, and Heavy Metal seems to have a hit on their hands with Cates’ Interceptor.