The ClanDestine volume 2 #1 by Alan Davis
And now we come to the remarkable – the return of The ClanDestine. I didn’t think it would happen, even if Davis has been working with Marvel of late, but it would appear that the powers that be care to keep Davis at their house enough to let him create more stories of his creator-owned series. That’s fine with me.
First things first – what’s going on with the logo? The original had a classic elegance (similar to the Trajan font, as discussed the eminent letterer Todd Klein in this post about the Spider-man logo during Civil War), whereas this is crude and sinister (and drops the definite article from the title). I wonder what Mr Klein would think of the change? I don’t wish to appear as somebody who can’t stand change, but I prefer the original. I’m sure there’s a good reason (perhaps to make it more ominous) but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
The next immediate difference is the darkness of the whole affair – from the cover to the rest of the comic, the colourist (SotoColour’s J. Brown) seems to have taken their name to heart and made a bright and cheery comic and turned it to a muted, shadowy version of the original. Again, it could be related to the tone of the mini-series, as the brightness of the original series now takes a turn for the worse, but it seems at odd with the initial tone.
This comic has to get the reader up to speed on the ClanDestine as well as setting up the new conflict that will drive this story. Davis does a good job – we start with a family tree for reference, before a daydream reveals the twins’ existence in a school (which appears to exist in a time bubble from about 30 years ago). Up next is the new plot, in the form of a nefarious and secretive sect called the Guild, which handily also identifies our main cast members through their report of their analysis of CCTV footage of the Destines and their real identities.
Back in Ravencroft, in Walter’s cottage (and family home) the family is doing its usual familial arguing, but also revealing character (Adam is analytic, even if he reiterates the myth about people in olden times believing that the Earth was flat; Dominic is cursed by his senses by today’s excessive broadcasting; Walter is worried about turning into Vincent when he loses control of his transformation; Jasmine/Cuckoo is amoral and has no respect for privacy; Adam has a strange temporal perspective which sets up the universe-spanning stories in the next issue).
Personally, I hope the stories we see will address some of the many interesting plots Davis has set up, including: Jasmine’s possible dark character within the family (and her potentially HIV-infected body); the power connection between the twins and the development of Pandora’s own personal interests outside of Rory’s desire to be a superhero; the extent of the family; and how does the whole thing work with Adam and the djinn so that they have kids at different times and ages?
This is a very good first issue, not just for the return of a story from over ten years ago. People are introduced, plot is set in motion, things happen – none of this compressed storytelling for Davis. It goes without saying that I look forward to the rest of the series: the Clan is back, Davis’ art is as gorgeous as ever (even under a muted palette) and all is good with the world.