REVIEW: In MADE IN KOREA #2, the twists begin

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Made in Korea
Made in Korea #2

Made in Korea #2

Story by Jeremy Holt
Art by George Schall
Lettering by Adam Wollet
Published by Image Comics

At the conclusion of the previous issue, the capability of Jesse the Proxy started to become clear… but in Made in Korea #2, we begin to understand that not everyone will perceive Jesse’s possibly limitless potential in the same manner!

Explorations of Jesse

Perhaps the most interesting element of Made in Korea’s sophomore issue is its fascinating exploration of the core concept of Proxies, as embodied by Jesse. After devouring every book she can get her hands on, from Infinite Jest to Slaughterhouse-Five, she insists that her parents allow her to enroll in school.

Seeing how she interacts with her teachers and students is fascinating, and plays out differently that you might expect. Meanwhile, her home life remains engaging as well, as her parents navigate how to deal with a child who has completely boondoggled any expectations they might have had for her… especially given that she was “ordered” online and delivered to their door.

Tracking Four-Five-Nine-Four

Meanwhile, Chul begins to recognize that he’s made a mistake (or perhaps even a series of them). After a bit of exposition that reveals Chul’s personal connections to some of the other aspects of artificial life that are unspooling in the world of Made in Korea, the scientist responsible for Jesse’s genesis heads off to the United States in search of what he perceives to be his own personal creation.

Made in Korea

But really, Chul, how did you think Suelynn would react to a stranger showing up and claiming to be from the company that manufactured Jesse? Nevertheless, Chul’s arrival in the Western hemisphere surely spells certain complications for Jesse in subsequent issues, and this subplot is clearly adopting a swift collision course with Jesse’s family life.

The Encroaching Shadow 

Whether the story is following Jesse or Chul, Made in Korea is always giving the reader a ground-level view of the proceedings, and that makes the brave new world that we’re being given a glimpse into a very strong sense of verisimilitude, even when dealing with robotic children or (perhaps the most farfetched of any concept in the comic) a United States government that seems to have successfully implemented gun control.

As with the previous issue, the gorgeously rendered art throughout Made in Korea #2 will take your breath away, with the unique texture layer giving the book a distinct and stylish flare.

Made in Korea

And the final pages of Made in Korea #2 will take your breath away in a different way, with a brutal hint of what’s to come in the next issues. Setting up an extremely high stakes conflict that could have global consequences, you can bet that this cliffhanger will leave you on the edge of your seat waiting for Made in Korea #3.

Back Matter World Building 

In my review of Made in Korea #1, I failed to mention the back-up comic (as it was not included in my review PDF, and I did not get to my local comic shop until after the review had been posted).

However, in the back matter of the first issue, Ron Chan delivered a three-page tale about how a family’s history is affected by the presence of a Proxy over the decades. It’s an interesting perspective that delivers a whole lot to think about in just three pages, and it gives us a chance to see a different element of the sci-fi conceit at the core of the series.

In Made in Korea #2, we get “A Lure,” a back-up comic by Ben Cohen, which forces the reader to acknowledge the artificial, computerized nature of the Proxies by highlighting the “Factory Reset” feature that is built into each of them.

These back-up comics add a delicious layer of texture to Made in Korea’s world building, and allow for alternate perspectives – an outstanding inclusion for an outstanding series.


Made in Korea #2 is available at your local comic shop beginning today.

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