Solo and the Survivors of Chaos Volume 2 is written and illustrated by Oscar Martin, who is known for having worked on Tom and Jerry Comics as an artist and writer. He has also done comics for the French Disney Le Journal de Mickey. His work would be more known to European audiences than here in the United States.
The setting for Solo is a dystopian future Earth that has been ravaged by nuclear war. The Earth is barren and many four-legged creatures over time had evolved into anthropomorphic humanoid beings with many also developing human-like intelligence and speech. There are rats, lizards, cats, humans, and other mutated species that populate the landscape of Oscar’s story, all with various levels of intelligence. Solo and the survivors he travels with are rats, and as with any post apocalyptic story are just trying to do what they can to survive.
I’ll be honest here. I was also one of those unfamiliar with his work or even that he existed. I had not read volume one, so as someone going into this blindly, the first thing I can comment on is that the artwork is excellent. Oscar does a great job with the characters in his book. Very detailed in the clothing and accessories. Character’s expressions are well done in depicting emotions. My take on how Oscar illustrates the humans versus the anthropomorphic animals is that the animals are serious, gruff, and tough; and the humans are drawn to be goofy and less intelligent. Knowing Oscar’s background with Disney and Tom and Jerry, one can’t help but picture Tom and Jerry with huge muscles, war paint, and lots of guns. Big guns, as it were.
In this story, Solo isn’t shown to the reader until a few pages in. When we finally see Solo for the first time he instantly transforms into Jerky McJerkface and essentially accuses his girlfriend of trying to cuck him. Solo goes on a self-reflecting journey for a while, and here is another aspect of Oscar’s storytelling that I liked: while the story has inner dialogue narrative boxes in some panels, there was never a narrative box saying “meanwhile”, or “on the next day” or something like that. The reader is given cues to changes in time of day by colors used in the panels, rather than getting bogged down with excessive use of words that would otherwise cover up a good chunk of panels. Oscar is clearly using his art to tell his story more than words and it works here.
Overall, this Volume is mostly about a love story between Solo and his girlfriend. The story also sets up events for an eventual Volume three. The artwork is definitely the best aspect of this comic. The story is ok, as it is only a setup for the next volume. I’m sure the next volume will be where the ‘meat’ of the story will be. For great art, and for meh story, I’d give this one a 2.5/5.