The Actual Roger #2 Review - How to make "All-Ages" comics that aren't childish
Many comic books carry the weight of decades of continuity. This makes it extremely hard for new readers discovering the hobby, or curious about a film franchises source material. The Actual Roger doesn't have the decades of baggage and works as a solid single issue. This is true even if issue #2 is your introduction to this series or characters. Every comic is someone's first and it feels good to pick up a title and get lost in it.
In this comic, we see Roger on his first mission with Magnanimo. The entirety of the book focuses on their battle with "The Beshemoth" a giant sperm whale. Roger isn't much use and honestly doesn't get much to do in this installment. The fun of the comic is seeing Magnamino get his ass beat by the whale. Hank Tucker was the director of "The Tick" animated series and it shows as Magnamino tells Roger to watch and take notes and then proceeds to get mashed for about 20 pages.
Another thing I appreciated about the comic is that "The Actual Roger" is a genuine all-ages title. I laughed at several points while reading and didn't have any problem giving the book to my son afterward. All ages don't mean kiddy as the book does cover mature themes and tells a coherent story. There are a few points in the comic that could have gone a lot darker if a creator like Garth Ennis or Mark Millar were involved.
Alterna Comics is an amazing value proposition. The book is $1.50 and clocks around 30 pages of mostly story. The art is packed with detail including a running gag of a cop that is either dead or pretending to be dead during the battle. It's the silliest visual gag I've seen in a while.
I can't really think of a bad or dull moment in the comic. The Actual Roger #2 builds on the previous issue and layers in world-building and more questions regarding Roger and how his powers work. Whether you're picking up the book as a single issue or in a trade I can't imagine someone walking away from the book disappointed or ripped off.