Comics, Reviews

Unnatural Order #2 Review: One Weird World

Step into the strange world of Christopher Yost and Val Rodrigues’ Unnatural Order, a fantasy comic where nothing is as it seems.

Unnatural Order #2 Review Cover
Image: Vault Comics
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 2:27 AM

Unnatural Order #2

Review
Rating
9
Good
Unnatural Order #2 Full Cover

Writer: Christopher Yost

Artist: Val Rodrigues

Publisher: Vault Comics

Release Date: January 2, 2024

Page Count: 32

Format: Single-issue

This latest issue completes the setup of the story, revealing that its world is much more strange and compelling than it initially seemed. The stage is now set for things to get really crazy from here.

In my constant pursuit of new comics to read, I’ve noticed titles from Vault Comics steadily popping up on my radar. An indie comics publisher focused purely on horror, sci-fi, and fantasy titles? I couldn’t be more into that concept. After reading and adoring Zack Kaplan’s Beyond Real last month, I was eager to dive into more of what Vault has to offer. That’s when I set my sights on Christopher Yost and Val Rodrigues’ Unnatural Order.

As a big fan of Yost’s work on X-Men with Craig Kyle, I was sold on seeing what magic he could pull off within the creator-owned/indie comics space. While the first issue already showed plenty of promise, this latest release pushes the story over the top. Want to know more? Read on below for my review of Unnatural Order #2!

Murphy gets his assignment

Overview

The story gives a glimpse into the life of Murphy, the man also known as “The Prisoner.” As part of a Spec Ops team for the United States, Murphy was tasked with investigating a disturbance in a CERN facility containing a Large Hadron Collider. What he thought would be just another ordinary mission turned out to be a head-on collision with Thomas Iodoc, the man the world would know as “The Druid.” With his inexplicable powers that bend reality and physics, Iodoc used the collider to gain limitless energy and reshape the world in his image. But as much as things changed, Murphy still remembers what the world is supposed to be like. After being freed from his shackles, it’s up to Murphy and his new allies to set the world back to its natural order.

Review

To best break down what makes Unnatural Order #2 so fascinating, I must first go back to how things went down in the first issue. The story talks about an all-powerful sorcerer called “The Druid” who rules over a dark, fantastical land. A party of warriors band together to fight for their world’s freedom. With the group consisting of a barbarian, mage, thief, and paladin, the story had all the trappings of a fairly standard sword and sorcery fantasy adventure. The story’s kicker only hits on the issue’s final page when it reveals the man the party has set out to save is wearing a modern-day military uniform. Suddenly, that typical fantasy story setup gets flipped over its head. This latest issue masterfully seals what this series is all about, effectively completing a very unique bait-and-switch. What we have on our hands is a genre-bending story set in a fantasy world rooted in sci-fi.

Unnatural Order 2 - welcome

Because this issue gives us a better grasp of the story’s inner workings, it recontextualizes how its fantastical world and characters should be perceived. By blending fantasy and sci-fi elements, the story feels more unpredictable as it breaks the “rules” that define either genre. The presentation of Iodoc, a.k.a. “The Druid,” is a prime example of this. With the curtain pulled back, this issue shows Iodoc is a villain more comparable to the likes of Dr. Doom than with Sauron. The recontextualization of the world subtly morphs the character’s mystique into something different while keeping his story and aura just as compelling. Knowing that the story takes place in what is essentially a self-indulgent creation of a psychopath makes the comic’s title, “Unnatural Order,” all the more clever.

My only “gripe” with the issue is that I wish there was more. With roughly half the issue spent piecing together the origins of Murphy and the devious plans of Iodoc, the issue ends just as the story is kicking into a new gear. While brief, the back half gives a thrilling taste of what’s to come. With Murphy being from the “natural world,” we see how his character contrasts against the party of warriors and wizards. Writer Christopher Yost is great at blending Murphy’s modern speech and sensibilities with the more fantastical tongues of the rest of the cast. Such details emphasize how these characters come from different times and eras. So, you’d best believe the party gets shaken up when a gun comes into play. While we still know so little about the characters so far, I’m eager to see how the unique dynamics develop as their journey pushes forward. As much as this issue leaves us hanging, I can’t deny that it showed plenty of promise for the story to go in fascinating directions.

Unnatural Order 2 - cctv

Final Thoughts

If you’re a fan of indie comics, especially within the horror, fantasy, and sci-fi sphere, then Vault Comics is a publisher to look out for this year. 2024 is going to be big for them, and Unnatural Order is shaping up to be a must-read series from their growing catalog. There’s just something endlessly refreshing about seeing creators have the space to explore bolder ideas and tell fascinating stories. If Unnatural Order is an indication of what’s to come, then you don’t want to miss out on more incredible comics.

Why You Should Read Unnatural Order

  • Val Rodrigues’ art stands out with its intense grit and brutal detail. 
  • This issue delivers a genre-bending experience that sets the tone for the series.
  • There’s more intrigue going into the series now that it has finished its setup.
TAGGED: Vault Comics
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