The Unwritten 2: Inside Man

the unwritten volume 2 inside man cover
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Good series

Not a great series

Comic Info

Comic Name: The Unwritten

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Mike Carey/Peter Gross

Artist: Peter Gross

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 2010

the unwritten #8 cover inside man

The Unwritten #8

Reprints The Unwritten #6-12 (December 2009-June 2010).  Tom Taylor has been accused of murder, and the media storm surrounding it continues to divide the public.  Taken to a prison to await trial, Tom finds himself imprisoned with a man named Richard Savoy who might know more than he saying.  When Lizzie Hexam has herself imprisoned to reach Tom and men try to kill Tom, all Hell breaks loose and Tom, Richard, and Lizzie find themselves on an adventure in Nazi Germany…plus, Tom’s discovery that Tommy Taylor might not be entirely fiction results in the return of Tommy’s ultimate nemesis!

Written by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, The Unwritten Volume 2:  Inside Man is a DC Comics collection under the Vertigo imprint.  Following The Unwritten 1:  Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity, the series features art by Gross, and issues in this volume were also collected as part of The Unwritten:  The Deluxe Edition—Book 1.

I quit reading The Unwritten after this volume.  Not because I disliked the collection, but because it fell off my radar.  The book initially had a lot of buzz, and like many Vertigo titles, it garnered attention outside of the comic book community.  The book kind of fizzled when opposed to other books like Y:  The Last Man and Fables, but the story remains valid.

the unwritten #10 cover jud suss

The Unwritten #10

I do admit that the originality of The Unwritten doesn’t feel as strong as something like Y:  The Last Man.  The basic concept is that it is aping Harry Potter which is alright, but the rest of the book needs to develop a bit more.  It feels a bit like a hodgepodge of Books of Magic (which many argue that Harry Potter copied) and other Vertigo titles.  It still feels a bit like it needs to find its own identity, but it does start to feel like it might be headed in that direction in this volume.

The story is divided into three parts.  The first part has Tommy in jail, the second is Tommy learning more about his “powers” in a trip into the warped novel of Jus Suss that was appropriated by the Nazis, and the third story is a standalone set in a world that feels like a combination of Winnie-the-Pooh and The Wind in the Willows.  The first story involving the prison does develop and feels like it could have carried the collection alone while the Nazi storyline feels a bit underdeveloped and dense in the sense that it tries to cover and explain more of Tommy’s abilities without doing it very clearly.  The third story tries to be edgy fun and feels a bit too much like Fables without the heart…I get what Gross and Carey are doing, but I would have rather had more story.

The Unwritten is presenting itself in a manner which isn’t as compelling as I hoped it would be.  It isn’t bad, but it also doesn’t knock your socks off like a lot of Vertigo books.  It could be argued that the subtle nature of the comic book is a nice change in comparison some of the bigger and bawdier titles, but it feels like it wants to be bigger.  The Unwritten 2:  Inside Man is followed by The Unwritten 3:  Dead Man’s Knock.

Related Links:

The Unwritten 1:  Tommy Taylor and the Bogus Identity

The Unwritten 3:  Dead Man’s Knock

The Unwritten 4:  Leviathan

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

One Comment on "The Unwritten 2: Inside Man"

  1. Goran November 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    It‘s the most original series. Only comparable to the big ones: Sandman, Watchman, Swamp Thing. It breaks my heart to witness the vanishing of a work of art with that quality. It’s genius.

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