Ignited Volume Two: Fight the Power

Ignited Volume Two: Fight the Power
Ignited Volume 2 Fight the Power review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: H1 Ignition - 978-1-64337-799-5
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2021
  • UPC: 9781643377995
  • Contains adult content?: yes
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes

Since the 1970s there’s been a general formula of mixing angst and action as far as teen superhero comics are concerned, and while there’s no shortage of either in Ignited, what made Triggered stand out was the immersion in real world issues. The high school kids with powers all acquired them somehow during a shooting incident at their school, and the concerns and divisions that’s caused continue to be explored by Kwaza Osajyefo and Mark Waid.

One curveball thrown is that the cast so far explored aren’t the only people who now have super powers, and another is someone knowing the identities of everyone who’s so far been masked. Social issues other than the best way to protect everyone from school shootings were briefly inserted into Triggered, where they seemed gratuitous for their brief appearance. Here, though, they’re given a greater emotional context and fit more smoothly.

While there’s never been any doubting Phil Briones is a talented artist, he’s always been following someone else on established titles. Ignited is his baby from the start, and his designs really show their purpose as more people are used here. He delivers clarity, character, excitement and detail, which is what’s wanted from a superhero title.

The melodrama is cranked too high in the opening chapter, but once Osajyefo and Waid move beyond, the issues examined are as good the opening volume. So far those with powers have operated in secret, but what happens when their parents discover what they can now do, or the wider world? The way that’s handled is interesting, and is likely to be divisive. Are security forces that go in guns blazing against teenagers who’ve recently experienced the trauma of a school shooting doing the right thing to protect America? Or are they trigger happy maniacs who’ve lost their humanity and incapable of seeing anything beyond their insecure world?

This is the final Ignited collection, but rather unsatisfactorily it leaves two orphaned stories that don’t wrap everything up, but do deal with some of the groundwork laid here. Alternatively, a digital Omnibus supplies the entire series.