The Matrix Comics
Volume 2

Authors: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP 16.99
ISBN 1 84576 021 2
Available 25 March 2005

The masterminds behind
The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions
unveil a second collection of comics stories based on their epic creation, starring some of the biggest names in comics and featuring never-before seen tales...

Volume Two of The Matrix Comics features... well, more of the same really. This collection opens with a strong story, Farewell Performance. This is about an escapologist who knows a little bit too much about the Matrix.

My favourite addition was the very short, but sweet, Who Says You Can't Get Good Help These Days? This does inject some much needed originality into this collection - ripping the urine (in a nice way) out of The Matrix franchise. Other worthy editions include An Asset to the System (A wannabe cop gets more than he bargained for), Wrong Number (one woman's attempts to leave the Matrix) and Saviors [sic] (following the life of man who wants to be patched back into the Matrix).

All of the stories here had the same feel to them - entertaining stories that have a surprise twist in the tale. Sadly, as that twist is always to do with the fact that reality as we see it is not real, these stories could start to get a little bland rather quickly. Tales based on this universe could, and I'm sure will, go on for years. However, I can see that unless someone doesn't keep on top of things it may go downhill - someone needs to ensure that writers explore new avenues in this universe.

While it might sound like I'm knocking this collection, I'm merely trying to point out that this series needs to be kept fresh. The stories collected here are entertaining and will be well received by fans of The Matrix. It's just that in a universe where anything can and does happen, it would be nice to see something a little more groundbreaking.

But by far the biggest crime, to me anyway, was the fact that the Wachowski brothers slot in a 16 page advertisement (masquerading as a free preview) for their two comics Doc Frankenstein and Shaolin Cowboy.

Otherwise, this is a great collection.

Nick Smithson

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