Tyler Cross V.2: Angola

Tyler Cross V2 Angola cover

Our hero’s luck turns against him. What seemed like a risk-free gig that should have got him some easy cash turns into a fast-track to Hell for Tyler Cross. A hell called “Angola,” the biggest high-security prison in the United States, surrounded by swamps and crushed by the sweltering Louisiana sunshine. And then just to put the cherry on the cake, the Scarfo clan has put a price on his head, and there are a whole load of Sicilians among Tyler’s fellow inmates… If Tyler ever manages to get out of this penitentiary hell, it sure won’t be for good conduct…

Once more into the fire, but this time not everyone is completely bad. Cross ends up in a southern prison and everything goes bad from there. But that’s what we expect from Tyler Cross…

Tyler Cross V2 Angola interior 1
Tyler Cross V2 Angola interior 2

Nury has superbly captured the feel of those old prison gang movies and wrapped that in something more. It’s a period piece filled with the old South, the mafia, corruption, violence, deceit and everything in between. We’re drawn into the circumstances with Cross as our guide, moving to the inevitable jailbreak. What Nury does so well here is flip us out of the main narrative and enrich the reader’s perspective through the outside events unfolding.

Tyler Cross V2 Angola interior 3
Tyler Cross V2 Angola interior 4

The art is rich, stylized and tells so much. Brüno creates a look for each character to represent their nature and plays it through. These are hard people in a hard world, and their mannerisms are wonderfully portrayed. Colour is crucial to this graphic work, and the palette for each environment and scene hits hard. The way Cross is in a gray shadow even in the tropics, or a scene goes red as violence ensues, or the flashback in sepia.

Tyler Cross V2 Angola interior 5
Tyler Cross V2 Angola interior 6

Tyler Cross V.1 set the tone for the series and introduced us to our protagonist, but Angola takes the time to develop the characters. As before Cross is one-dimensional and does what we expect and want him to do, but that hard exterior shows a few cracks.

This time the supporting cast takes center stage, giving us a depth to not only the environment and the chain of events but the reasons behind them. I loved Billy’s mom and her involvement throughout, a melancholy hope.

Tyler Cross V2 Angola interior 7
Tyler Cross V2 Angola interior 8