Story: Dennis Hopeless
Art: Victor Ibanez
Colors: K.J. Diaz
Letterer: Simon Bowland
What They Say:
With Lupe’s monstrous secret revealed, a brand-new threat looms large. Trust is hard to come by as this apocalyptic love story threatens to go nuclear… because someone is always watching.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of this series was pretty engaging with how Dennis Hopeless presented it but I was surprised we got as much origin and backstory in the second as we did. That said, what works the best with this book is that while it plays in familiar territory it’s not in a rush to get through things. It actually has some really solid pacing so that you can feel that end-of-the-world atmosphere to it where there’s a kind of stillness and decay rather than just constant action. We do get action, however, and Victor Ibanez delivers really well there with the creatures at hand but also the monster that is humanity. I love the look of the book with all of its details in this area but also just the decaying world aspect which features a lot of neat little moments and pieces that make it feel, well, not lived-in but the right kind of end of things look, especially with K.J Diaz’s color design following what Addison Duke began.
With this installment, we get to look at events from another point of view for the framing. It’s largely through that of someone watching Lupe from a distance through camera tracking and drones that they can tap into. We have no idea who this person is as they’re kept pretty minimal with bulky clothes and a hood, but they figured out quickly that she was different while watching the early weeks of the invasion of creatures that happened and how she seemed to be either friendly or oblivious to it even while chaos and death raged around her. Watching it from this perspective is definitely interesting and it leans into some of the recent events going on that we saw while also giving us a fun view of where they’re holed up watching all of it. I do dislike that we didn’t get to know more of who this watcher is but it adds a little more mystery to latch onto for a bit that I have no doubt we’ll get answers to in the next issue.
With Lupe herself, we get a lot of little looks at her time once things went down and in the period since as she’s been traveling like this for some time. One instance has her connected with a woman who seems to be able to navigate the feeders in a different way than her as we see them talk and spend time together briefly before she ends up killed for less than clear reasons. But Lupe is able to just keep on keeping on and her journey later takes her to where a mother of two children have found some refuge. That has Lupe trying to be friendly to her and then going on to try and befriend the kids but you know it’s just filled with bad times for all involved other than Lupe. And that continues to be the piece of this series that stands out. While the opening issue makes it feel like Lupe is just lucky in how she’s managed to figure out how to survive, we get so many scenes where she looks positively evil and intent on what’s going on that the truth is far more uncertain than we thought.
I have no idea what to expect from Heart Eyes overall, though a dark and grisly end is pretty expected, and I’m definitely enjoying the experience. Hopeless has put together a strong idea and is executing it in an interesting way that works so that you get progress and answers but a lot of uncertainty and chaos as well. Ibanez and Duke have delivered another strong issue visually with its designs, layouts, and how to handle all of the remote viewing that’s going on here. I really have to again highlight the color design as it has such a neat level of oppresiveness about it to evoke the feeling of this post-apocalyptic world. I love the various takes on Lupe throughout as well as the critters and the big explosion/feeder sequence we get toward the end is just fantastic. Really great stuff here that I hope can stick the eventual landing.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Vault Comics
Release Date: November 2nd, 2022