When we last saw our hero(?) Isaac, the gang member who crashed landed on the prison planet named Oasis, he was getting a hand from Silas, the mysterious gang leader of Barrio Las Cruces. Now treated as an odd and special celebrity, Isaac is treated like a king as Silas looks to recruit him for his forces. Isaac is skeptical but partakes in Silas’ hospitality anyway. Concrete Park: RESPECT #2 continues to introduce us to this new world with a wave of new characters and you can’t help but wonder how are Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander going to tie up this epic new tale in five issues?
In the tradition of Mad Max and Blade Runner, Concrete Park is an ambitious science fiction series about the inhabitants of a prison mining planet made up of rival gangs in a seemingly lawless environment amid a dry and vast planet. Isaac as the newest arrival has a dark past that still haunts him but is making the transition to this deadly new battleground far removed from the mean streets of Los Angeles. Puryear continues to build this world with odd characters with dubious intentions. As the reader you’re discovering these new environs and people just as Isaac is. It is at times unpredictable and fascinating to see how similar and dissimilar Oasis is from Earth.
It's difficult to see where the story is headed though. Everyone seems fascinated by Isaac as the interloper unafraid to challenge whomever is placed ahead of him but will he be used to take down the Potato King? Will he join Silas and his crew or will he look for Luca and help her gang? Without demanding all the details there should be some clarity going forward.
Puryear and Alexander have created an extraordinary setting with an imaginative plot, albeit unclear, a diverse population and Isaac seems like the perfect imperfect hero. As an artist Puryear has developed his own style that makes Concrete Park beautiful and like nothing else in comics. His use of color is striking and jumps off the page. The action is quick and definitive.
Concrete Park is an exciting sci-fi comic with great characters and even if the direction is unclear so far just being immersed in this world is a reward of its own.