The second chapter of Jim Zubkavich’s (Image’s great Skullkickers) Makeshift Miracle has now concluded, and just like the first one, which I reviewed here, is also available for free download in order to spread the word about how good this webcomic is. Thankfully, it is actually good.
Our spiky haired, loner protagonist Colby began his adventure at the end of the debut chapter, after discovering a beautiful, naked girl falling at his feet like a comet. Here he talks to himself and does what he can to keep her alive.
Zubkavich is building the pieces at a glacial pace, which those weened on hectic superheroics may find annoying, but I find charming. It helps that the narration, like the story (at least so far) is simple and very understandable. It’s an all-ages comic really.
We learn nothing new in this second chapter, as the overwhelmed teenager quickly jumps into action realising no other help is at hand, bundles his new friend up to keep her warm and soon discovers that she has a handy ability.
I’d imagine in the following chapter, we’ll get to the bottom of who this girl is, which will drive the story to some unexpected places. At this point, it needs it. However, it seems to me that Zubkavich has a grand plan in mind and is obviously playing coy for now, making deliberate pacing choices and ending each chapter on a cliffhanger. What this story needs now though is more understanding of our two main characters, the introduction of some key supporting players and the inevitable threat that comes calling for the girl from the sky. The rather intriguing foundation has been laid. Now it’s time for the solid gripping narrative to take centre stage.
Shun Hong Chan’s art is simply delicious. It’s crystal clear, dynamic with a manga flair that makes even these pages, in which not a lot actually happens, seem alive and bristling with a restrained energy. The deft colouring builds a great environment and snow covered claustrophobia and uses black and white when needed to great effect, not as flashbacks as seen in the previous chapter, but with more subtlety when the characters’ isolation needs to come to the fore.
It appears luscious on the computer screen and will look even more so when Makeshift Miracle comes to print as a collection from Udon next year.
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