From Negative Ten to Hero
There's something about this cover that feels almost exactly the same as the first cover. Maybe it's the Spider-Man background, or Alpha's face in the exact same place. Regardless the excessive similarities in tone make it really bland for me.
As for the interior art, I'm sure I'm in the minority but in this issue it's already grown on me. The action is incredibly energetic, and the facial expressions are pretty damn good, even if everyone's head is impossibly long and thin.
At the end of the previous issue, I was certain Alpha had basically blown the guy's head off, so I was a bit perplexed to see there be ambiguity to the status of the mugger. I feel like the first issue's end was pretty misleading, and it messed with my enjoyment at the beginning of this issue.
The romance bubbling between Alpha and 'Soupcan' is a little on the nose, but they do have undeniably good chemistry. Like I always say about Fialkov, the character work is extremely strong. Alpha's home life with his mother and grandmother is pretty awkward, but reeks of deeper psychological issues to explore; and all the various interactions Alpha has are fairly unexpected or just plain interesting.
The pacing for this issue is a little off, the ending cliffhanger is split between being a huge surprise, and possible just a simple matter, it's hard to tell. Did Alpha's powers have a body-altering affect on the mugger? I feel that kind of origin would be a little too obvious, but if not then the final scene means nothing. A man in a hospital bed grabs his arm? He's got nothing on Alpha. There's also a fairly cool battle with some kind of energy squid monster thing, which serves a very important purpose. I mean, it's important to the plot structure, he needed a giant monster to beat on for various emotional reasons, but the monster we're given has no connection to anything else whatsoever, and has a bizarre lack of explanation for something so strange.
In Conclusion: 4/5
Joshua Hale Fialkov is turning a complete unlikable asshole into a genuinely interesting character. Alpha's got complexities I think even he himself isn't aware of. The art's something you really need to adjust to to properly appreciate, even then it's a bit tough, but it's grown on me quickly. I'm genuinely extremely intrigued to see Alpha go, not on the journey from ordinary kid to hero, but from complete disgrace to hero.