As you may remember, I loved the first book in The Zodiac Legacy. The collaboration between Stan Lee, Stuart Moore, and artist Andie Tong was such a delight. The origin story of our heroes and villains who were enhanced with energies inspired by the signs of the Chinese zodiac, was a fun adventure that was enhanced by Tong’s illustrations.
However, as many super hero franchises have proven it is easy to create an engaging first installment, it is part two that many stories falter. After getting the band together, how do you create an engaging story without causing the audience to disengage or feel like a retread?
I am happy to report that our storytellers have found a great way to continue the story while moving our characters forward and keeping us entertained. In many ways, the second installment is superior to the strong first volume. The Dragon’s Return is more than just the rerun the title might suggest. Let’s not forget The Empire Strikes Back has a similar title yet is still the gold standard as far as sophomore stories go.
Our adventure picks up about a year after the last book. Steven and his team have become more accustomed to their powers and are using them to help people. But as we soon realize the line between who is good and who is bad is quickly blurred. Steven learns the hard lesson that just because you go on an adventure with a group of people that doesn’t mean you have what it takes to become a high-functioning team. Of course our villain, Maxwell and The Vanguard, have returned and are trying to gain our friend’s powers for their own purpose.
This is not the first time we have seen a fractured team of super heroes, nor will it be the last. Reminder Captain America: Civil War will be released May 6. But what is unique is our story’s youthful point of view that can see peril of their situation without descending into the angst of a Freeform original series. So in summation, the second installment is even more enjoyable than the first and I cannot wait for part three.