Christmas! It’s the most wonderful time of the year…right? Well for most of us its a time for presents, food, and family, for Sal it’s time to do what he does best. The List #2 picks up on the run-up to Christmas, with Sal kicking the booze and finally getting ready for his own night of vengeance. Whilst the issue still has all the action of a summer blockbuster, this time it plays out almost like a spy centered thriller with Sal making use of all manner of gadgets that wouldn’t look out of place in a Bond movie. That makes for a slightly more comedic issue compared to the first, but also a much more exciting one.
The List #2 is once again written by James Stimpson with artwork from Liana Recchione and centers around the run-up to Christmas. It’s a hectic time of year for all of us, but most of all for Sal. The issue wastes no time hitting the ground running as we see Sal being equipped with all sorts of weapons and gadgets from his helpers. He gives up on the booze, just for the month of course, and puts some hours into a training simulator to make sure he’s ready for the big day.
Whilst the Lord himself might belive in Sal, not all of the Santas trust him to do his job, mainly Cedrick, the “Arse of a man” from the previous issue, who plans of removing Sal from Santa Squad altogether in order to protect his fellow Santas. Whilst Cedrick is most certainly an arse of a man his actions do feel justified to some degree, espcially after it is revealed Sal snuck away from the north pole to visit an old friend, something Jesus Christ himself has forbidden.
We aren’t given too long to think about Cedrick’s plan before December 24th rolls around and its showtime. In the second half of the issue, we see Sal traveling across the globe, only he’s delivering cold hard pain rather than wrapped up presents. The action ramps up as we see Sal fully equipped with his tactical Santa Suit dishing out all sorts of gruesome pain to those who would hurt children at this particular time of year.
The issue feels even more like a James Bond adventure when Sal is sent to infiltrate a Russian base where children are being trafficked, which was by far the coolest part of the entire issue. Some fantastic panels which would feel at home in a Metal Gear Solid title.
The issue ends with Sal making a few more stops around the globe before unexpectedly meeting a familiar face leaving the issue on an intriguing cliffhanger. Issue #2 is allowed to build up Sal’s character as well as his relationships with others from Santa Squad thanks to issue #1 laying most of the groundwork. What follows is a faster-paced, more intense and more entertaining issue.
Issue #2 spends most of its time developing Sal which, whilst giving him some great development does leave some other characters feeling a little left out. Sal is still the no-nonsense, ice-cold (pun intended) Santa from issue #1 but this time we see him challenge himself in small but meaning full ways. He kicks the booze and increases the training because he genuinely wants to do his job to the best of his ability. Sal has this righteousness about him, which makes you route for him. It is of course helped by the fact that his “don’t give a shit attitude” is very funny.
Cedrick again returns, and aside from the nameless goons, we see Sal takedown he is probably the closest thing we have to a villain in this issue. He works to try and remove Sal from Santa Squad, fearing he could expose them all. I hope in future issues, he is given more to do or at least we Cedrick publicly move against Sal in some way, although I am interested to see exactly what Cedrick is scheming.
Once again, The List has that graphic novel look to it, which not only works well with the festive tone but also with the intense action and violence. Similarly to issue #1 both the cold blue colors of winter and the warmer red colors of Santa Squad are captured well and blend togther nicely.
The List is definitely a comic I recommend you try out, espcially in the run-up to Christmas. Go here to check out the Kickstarter campaign. You can check out our review of The List #1 here and if you’re interested in checking The List #2 out you can right here: thelistcomicbook.co.uk.