So we're back for issue 2 and when issue #1 ended insects were crawling all over our heroine's house and a beam of light or something shoots out of the house.
So what happened next? Uh not sure. What was the beam of light? No idea.
The issue opens in some sort of scary dimension where a voice with scary borders chastises Phaedra Phantom. Phaedra was one of Adventureman's team and she is being held in this dimension by Adventureman's archnemesis Baron Bizarre and Baroness Bizarre. It's implied that she escaped and visited Claire in the first issue but that's not clear. Baron Bizarre is made of bugs. There's a hint that if people remember Baron Bizarre it gives him more power.
That interlude ends and Claire and her son Tommy are walking to school. Tommy is reading the Adventureman guidebook from last issue. Tommy advises that they gave the address of Adventure Worldwide - Adventureman's headquarters. Like Doc Savage's 86th floor headquarters the building is never identified in the pulps, but they give the address in this guidebook.
(This came from Philip Jose Farmer's Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life where Farmer made a confincing case that Doc's Headquarters was the 86th floor of the Empire State Building, a fact never revealed in the pulps)
Tommy has to race to school and Claire has an appointment with two of her sisters. One is baking souffles and the other arrives late, makes noise and ruins the souffles and bugs crawl out of them. Could they be connected to Baron Bizarre and the bugs from last issue?
During the exchange with her sisters, Claire is reading the guidebook and the test is in white writing accross the page. In at least one point, one of the sister's talks to Claire and her speech bubble covers the text - I get that it shows that this is interrupting the reading but it hides the words. The white words also appear over the top of the panels even over lighter parts of the picture where the words are lost and impossible to read. This happens several times in this issue and it is so annoying.
After the souffle incident, Claire decides to visit Adventure Worldwide - so she jumps on her vespa and zips through the city. She snatches a coffee from a cop and we discover that Claire Connell used to be an NYPD cop. We have no idea why she stopped - it may be when she lost her hearing or when she had her son or someother reason. 2 pages about how cool Claire looks on the Vespa but just the hint about her past.
She gets to building and there's a giant art deco skyscraper there, that she doesn't remember being there before. She texts her son in class for the street view of the address. Tommy gets into trouble and can't respond.
Claire then accosts a passerby and he tells her that the building there is a dump. Clearly Matt Fraction has seen the 1994 Shadow movie starring Alec Baldwin where Shiwan Khan hides an entire hotel which serves as his headquarters in a similar fashion - and Alec Baldwin accosts a passerby in the same fashion.
Claire walks to the door but there is no handle but she remembers how one of Adventureman's assistants first finds the building - another place with white writing where it gets lost in the image. This time the information is important to the story.
It turns out that Phaedra Phantom phases you thorugh the door - the place is in ruins but the security system still works as Phaedra warns before she disappears. Claire immediately sets off the security system and has a fight with two robots where Claire uses brains and brawn to defeat them. Claire takes the elevator to the top of building (shades of Doc Savage's flearun elevator) and calls out that she has the book.
We then skip to the family Friday night dinner - Tom is there but his mother isn't. His grandfather is about to ask about Claire when she charges in with her shirt and pants torn (in a likely homage to covers to the 1960s Doc Savage reprints that featured Doc in a torn shirt)
And the issue ends.
Argh, there is so much to like in this book but it frustrates me in so many ways. It seems like there is information that we should be getting but aren't and transitions that aren't quite working for me.
And the timing of events is confusing. Every Friday night the family gathers for dinner. This happens in issue 1. What appears to be the next day, (Saturday) she gets the guidebook from Phaedra and that night the bugs over the house and the light.
But that can't be right as what appears to be the next day (Sunday) Claire is dropping her son to school - she visits her sister, visits Adventure Inc and then turns up late for Friday night dinner.
But that timeline can't be right clearly she got the book on Thursday of that week, then took Tommy to school on Friday morning and spent the day at Adventure Inc. but it's not clear. I'm not even sure that the events of issue two take place the day after the end of issue 1.
Let's see if issue 3 solves some of these issues.