Self/Made No. 2 review: Let the games begin!


Amala’s world was not as it originally seemed in Self/Made. In the second issue of the series, readers are given some insight into what’s really going on.

Self/Made No. 2

Writer: Mat Groom

Artist: Eduardo Ferigato

Colors: Marcelo Costa

Self/Made No. 2 cover (Credit: Image Comics)

There is no other way to start this review than by saying Self/Made No. 2 is brilliant. We are only two issues into this Mat Groom/ Eduardo Ferigato series from Image Comics, but it has subverted expectations from the get-go.

At the outset, it seemed like a simple battle drama set in a fantasy world. Then it turned into something else; something much better. It’s hard to write about this series without giving away any spoilers, but suffice it to say, Self/Made will appeal to geeks of all kinds – whether you’re into fantasy, gaming or mindless battles, there’s intrigue of all sorts here.

On the back of Netflix’s Bandersnatch, it seems like the world of gaming is seeing a resurgence in 2019. Seeing all sides of the gaming world is what makes Self/Made No. 2 especially engrossing. There’s an authenticity to the corporate-speak that Groom incorporates in this issue that makes the reader’s skin crawl. It’s so unexpected as to be quite genuine.

Self/Made No. 2 was a trek off the beaten path. Gone are the swords and blood of the battlefield, replaced by the much more fascinating and exasperating corporate espionage of the modern age. The world of protagonist Amala is grander than she first realized, but how does she fit in? Despite curtailed page appearance, Amala’s isolation and fear of this unknown world is writ large in every panel she appears in.

The characters jump off the page thanks to the writing and the art. There’s the arrogant Bryce, greedy Stuart, courageous Amala, and determined misfit Rebecca. Each character is so vibrant, it makes Self/Made No. 2 feel like an immersive film-viewing experience.

The best part of this installment’s denouement is the suggestion that two female characters are teaming up to help and save each other. One can foresee the two characters gelling well, but only if the creators do them justice. It would be easy to fall into the trap of defining the goals of these women by the impact men make on their lives, but all signs point to Groom and team working to subvert those tropes.

Self/Made No. 2 (Credit: Image Comics)

It’s not often that female characters are allowed to be isolated and eccentric. One of the main characters in this series is just that, and she reads like a refreshing change from the norm. From what readers learn about her in Self/Made No. 2 this character is married to her life’s work, and only when that is at stake, is she forced to take action.

There’s an essence of Westworld running through this series, which makes reading the upcoming issues an exciting prospect. What thrilling new landscapes and environments will Ferigato and Marcelo Costa conjure for readers next?

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It’s unbelievable how fantastic this series is and one can only hope the creators are able to maintain their mojo throughout its run. Expectations are already high for the third issue which will be out next month. There are many new titles published every week, but Self/Made could very well be the favorite on many readers’ pull lists if the quality of the content remains this good.