Review: Men of Wrath 2 by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: Men of Wrath 2 by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney

Posted by Sean Hamilton Sunday, November 9, 2014
We are led like lambs to the slaughter, but we are calm in the midst of such terrible Rath…

Review of Men of Wrath 2 by Aaron and Garney
Men of Wrath 2 standard cover
by Garney and Milla
With Men of Wrath #2, Jason Aaron and Ron Garney are not letting up. Aaron is producing some of the grittiest work since his Scalped series finished in 2012, and the art from Garney is superbly dark.

As with issue #1, we open with a piece of Rath family history, picking up a generation later and seeing the transition from Alford Rath to Monroe. The scene is violent, even more so than what was witnessed last issue, but it has to be for what is coming up. Aaron and Garney exploit this peg as much as possible to hang the story on.

Men of Wrath 2 provides some necessary context for our main plot—the arrival of Ira and his job offer to kill his son—by providing context about why this is happening. In a brilliant move, Aaron has kept the story rather simple; we don't have to get cluttered by complexity, which means we get to delve into who the main characters are and what is motivating them.

Instead of this month being taken via flashback and aided by the narrative device of sheep, we get to roam among the horses. Aaron uses farm animals and their involvement with the Rath history as device for showing the audience the similarities and differences between generations of Rath men.

Men of Wrath musters the horses for slaughter
Blood, fear and grit set the tone and mood in Men of Wrath.
Where Ira Rath was juxtaposed in issue #1 with the his progenitors' awakening of a bloody family trait, the focus in issue #2 is on Ira's son, Rueben, who can't seem to stoop to the same level of violence Ira and earlier Rath men have achieved. It is possible we are seeing the last link in this chain finally snap, as the two final Rath men are sure to collide on the same path in upcoming issues.

Horses scatter in Men of Wrath 2
Rueben Rath takes center
stage in issue 2.
Just we are brought up to speed with both sides of the Rath family men, the issue ends. We get a cliffhanger moment—a police chase, train dodging, girlfriend snatching moment—at which point we have stopped breathing, only to exhale in disgust as we feel trapped by the issue's close. It is fascinating to be entrapped by a story such as this despite its tone and violence. The story is engrossing and is a clear mark of the quality we are receiving.

The art by Ron Garney is gripping in its stark tone and moody overture. The emotive states of the protagonists and antagonists in Men of Wrath 2 are great to see displayed. Garney's panel arrangement and placement is smooth and flows well, allowing the reader to progress through the story with ease.

Matt Milla's colors continue to be very appropriate. They not only match the tone the story is achieving but also support the emotional strain and imagery Aaron and Garney are pitching. The contrast of different scenes with flashbacks in different hues of color helps set the story flow and help the reader understand where in the narrative we are at a given point throughout the issue. In this way Milla not only complements Garney's work but also establishes exactly what he is able to bring to Men of Wrath in his own right.

Rueben Wrath guns down his horse in Men of Wrath
Simple panel layout and an easy pace guide the eye through wondrous terror.
This is a tension-soaked book, and with the promise of more action to come, it is simply a great read. The pairing of Aaron and Garney capitalizes on the work they have done previously, such as on Wolverine and Thor series. The relationship is flourishing artistically, unrestrained by the intended audiences of the preceding titles.

If you aren't yet reading this worthwhile series, I suggest you quickly do so. It is that good. Mature content is an obvious one here though, so best to keep that in mind. However, if you are already reading it, tell us what you think. How do you think this compares to Scalped? Is Men of Wrath better, worse, or different? Make sure you leave a comment below or post on our Facebook page.

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