Writers: Curt Pires & Rockwell White
Artist: Alex Diotto
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Cover Artists: Alex Diotto & Dee Cunniffe; Martin Simmonds
Release Date: April 26, 2023
In the beginning, he saw Mars. People lived and worked in domes and rounded buildings. Aircraft flew through red skies over tranquil blue lakes. Every night Fred watches people walk along elevated walkways that slope up and down, curving like ribbons throughout their city. Then a mushroom cloud forms and fiery destruction envelopes him. What happens when Fred awakens? Let’s tune into Indigo Children #2 and find out!
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After clients accept Fred’s proposal, the architect celebrates that evening. Over the voices of other patrons, the conversations on the dance floor, and the singer’s lyrics pouring through the bar’s speakers, a coworker or friend compares his visionary designs to savant Raymond Babbitt in the 1988 film Rain Man.
The next day Fred speaks with his psychiatrist about his anxiety and paranoia. The medication she prescribes makes it harder for him to think clearly, but she encourages him to take it regardless. After suffering from troubling visions throughout the day—perhaps from his past—he decides to flush his pills down the toilet. Like journalist Donovan Price in issue #1, this decision will propel his life in a radically different direction.
As I followed Fred’s life in present-day Chicago, Indigo Children #2 felt more like a linked story in an anthology than the next chapter in a series. I vaguely recognized Alexei when he appeared. Aside from Fred, writers Curt Pires and Rockwell White give no character names in this twenty-seven-page installment. Another glimpse of the last issue’s opening scene—with four kids levitating beside Egypt’s mighty Sphinx—pairs with Alexei, Fred, and two other people who arrive with Alexei. I had to reread the first issue to realize that the latter two were Donovan Price and Nikki, the Russian man who helped Donovan locate Alexei in The Town That Is Not A Town.
Fred’s recurring dream reminded me of my visit to Epcot in Florida. I don’t know how the theme park has changed since my visit a dozen years ago or how it compares with Walt Disney’s original vision of a livable futuristic city. Artist Alex Diotto and colorist Dee Cunniffe give the Martian city a futuristic, organic appeal that contrasts with Fred’s spartan apartment and Chicago’s highrises.
As Fred’s abilities emerge, white dots or stars sparkle near his head. The first time we see this is in the bar when it’s hard to distinguish them from the colorful interior lighting. That’s also where Fred spots the man he believes is following him in Indigo Children #2. The man wears a hoodie and drinks something resembling an Icee with an olive attached via a toothpick.
Fred’s abilities manifest as blueprints, with white lines on blue fields. He also glimpses memories from his childhood. Unlike his multicolored present, these are also colored blue. By the time the men with guns–and the soldiers in combat attire–appear, it’s safe to say the color that dominates Dee Cunniffe’s palette is blue. I don’t know if it’s his coloring or Alex Diotto’s artwork, but I found it hard not to associate the latter half of this issue with The Old Guard series by Rucka and Fernandez.
Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou makes Indigo Children #2 easy to read. Black uppercase letters in white dialogue balloons shift to white letters on blue in Fred’s blueprint visions. Hassan uses bold and increases font size to show intonation. He underlines commands or borders the dialogue balloons with red to show shouts. He shows Alexei’s dialogue as white letters on purple clouds. (Or should I say indigo?) Sound effects—seen at night and with minimal interior lighting—appear drawn with a white pen. Big-ass white letters in the upper lefthand corner of panels differentiate current events from flashbacks.
Indigo Children #2 introduces readers to another person with extraordinary abilities who remembers his previous life on Mars. Pursed by government conspiracies and paramilitary organizations, can all four Indigo Children help Earth escape the fate of its nearest planetary neighbor? I, for one, hope to avoid brainwashing or accidental death until this series concludes.