Updated: Jan 24, 2020
BORDER TOWN #2
Writer: Eric M. Esquivel
Artist: Ramon Villalobos
When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued but wasn't sure if I was gonna pick it up. After all the buzz surrounding the first issue I immediately asked my LCS to score me a copy. Let me tell you guys I was absolutely blown away. What Esquivel and Villalobos have created is one of the smartest and socially conscious books out right now. On the surface it's about Mexican folklore monsters coming in to our world, but it's so much more.
Last issue we were introduce to Frank, who just moved to Devil's Fork, AZ a town on the border between the US and Mexico, which also serves as the border between reality and Mictlan, the Aztec underworld. It's through Franks eyes that we are introduced to the rest of the cast. We see that racism runs rampant in that town just like the world we live in now. There are obvious cliques that are separated by race which is how Frank gets in a fight with a Blake because he was mistaken for being white, but really he's half Mexican. After he nearly beats the crap out of Blake this is when we see the monster come form the underworld. That is where this issue picks up from.
Esquivel brilliantly lets the readers see the action through news reports as opposed to seeing them in your face. Instead we see this group of teenagers who at first, wanted to ignore the fact that these creatures are attacking their town, but instead take up arms to fight them off. But don't get it twisted this book is more than just a group of teenagers fighting monsters, it's about immigration and how life is near the border.
While this is a very controversial topic in today's world because of everything happening in our country right now, Esquivel doesn't try to beat the message in to readers, instead it's a subtle message that helps readers really connect with the characters.
Ramon Villalobos' art is really reminiscent of Frank Quitely's style and ultra detailed. He really brings the characters and town of Devil's Fork to life. I don't know if this book would ever be the same without his art. He is able to bring every emotion out of the characters flawlessly. His depictions of these underworld creatures in
Overall, after 2 issues this book has become a personal favorite of mine and is without a doubt a worthy successor to all the great Vertigo titles that have preceded it. If this book is any indication of what we can expect from Vertigo moving forward than we are in store for some amazing books. Esquivel and Villalobos have a classic in the making and I think this book will be talked about for years to come.