Unwritten volume 2: Inside Man (tpb)

by stephengervais on February 20, 2012

The creative team of Mike Carey and Peter Gross continue the engaging tale of Tommy Taylor in this second volume of Unwritten. It’s published under DC’s mature imprint, Vertigo and contains issue 6 to 12. Writer Mike Carey once again captivates the reader with this engrossing adventure which jumps between reality to fantasy to fairy tale and back again without missing a beat.


Volume two is a bit longer than the previous and contains three stories as oppose to the two in volume one. The major storyline of volume two is Tommy’s stay in prison while awaiting trial for the murders at the Villa Diodati. Here he is a celebrity prisoner who must cope with being in general population and along the way develops what looks to be a long term relationship with his cell mate, Savoy.  The warden of the prison, Chadron, plays a major role in this part of the story as he tries to find a balance between running the prison and his home life. He tries to protect the innocence of his children from the harsh realities of life with tragic results. Carey uses the warden’s children as commentary on how popular culture affects the young. He explores how a phenomenon such as Harry Potter affects their lives and way of thinking.


Lizzie makes her way into this story by getting herself arrested and housed at the same prison as Tommy. She eventually finds her way to Tommy during an attempt on his life which results in a prison riot. Using the riot as distraction to the team of assassins Tommy and his friends use the magic doorknob to escape which them leads right into the second story of this volume. The door knob brings them into what appears to be Nazi Germany. Here we get a history lesson on how the Nazis took the novel Jud Suss written by German Jewish writer Lion Feuchtwanger and turned into an anti-Semitic propaganda film. This was a very interesting piece of history that I had never heard before. Carey amazes me with his knowledge of literature and how it’s used throughout history.


The last part volume two is a stand alone story which is cross between the works of Beatrix Potter and A.A. Milne. Carey throws in a nasty little character into that world with hilarious consequences. I hope this tradition of ending each volume with a stand alone story continues throughout the series. 


Carey is of course aided by the exceptional artwork of Peter Gross. By clearly separating the fantasy world from reality the story flows seamlessly and without confusion. The added pages of blog entries, newspaper clippings, and news telecasts also keep the story details moving along without bogging down the reader with too much dialogue.


In volume two we get a little medieval folklore, social commentary on pop culture and how literature has affected history all rolled into one fantastic read. As with the previous volume we also get all the fantastic covers done by Yuko Shimizu included with trade. This is a fresh and smart series that I can’t recommend enough.

Our Score:


A Look Inside