Edgar Jacobi, a.k.a. Moloch the Mystic, is a reformed supervillain who only wants to serve God and repent for his many sins, but unknown to him, his life has become a small piece in a much larger event.
I’m going to be up front with you. Do yourself a favor and count Moloch as a brilliant single issue and then go and read Watchmen again. This second part is well constructed but is another filler issue, adding nothing to the larger narrative.
MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
I will say this issue follows the Watchmen playbook exactly. All the events and details of Jacobi’s life from the graphic novel are here and expanded upon, only . . . it’s not that interesting if you already know what’s going to happen. Jacobi’s life at this stage is not some grand adventure or character evolution, it’s about him being used. After the fantastic identity story the first issue delivered, this direction was disappointing. The fact that they wanted to stick close to the events of Watchmen is fine, but it would have been nice to see Jacobi actively try to change his life and be forced onto the course Adrian Veidt laid out for him instead of being a passive participant and puppet to the supergenius. The way it’s handled, Jacobi never feels like the protagonist of this book, Veidt is, only the camera follows this pawn of Veidt’s who spends his time doing mundane s—, oblivious to anything else.
The art in this book is still good and still uses shadows in some interesting ways, but this time around it wasn’t as much fun. If there was a metaphor to be found in the art this time, it went right by me. It’s not even the superhero fights I miss, it’s Jacobi’s journey from self-hatred to acceptance that’s absent and leads to a work that is boring to read and is, therefore, accompanied by boring art. Even the few “high-tension” scenes are laughable, fitting into an almost cartoony evil on Veidt’s part.
In review: Moloch #1, worth buying; Moloch #2, you non-completionists can leave it on the stands.