Sleeper Season Two is the conclusion (at least for now) of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ dark exploration of the spy genre by way of superheroics. I raved about Season One, which works its “Spy Who Came in from the Cold” theme with great relish.
I am a little less pumped about this collection, if only because the violence becomes a little too gratuitous and over-the-top. Season Two also loses some of the suspense of its predecessor because the double-agent status of protaonist Holden Carver (and I always want to type Holden Caulfield of Catcher in the Rye fame instead) has been exposed, and I miss the tension that comes from wondering on every page when he will be caught by the criminal group he has infiltrated.
Still, these twelve issues are definitely worth reading, especially (and probably only) for those who have read the earlier collection. Brubaker brings down the curtain in fine style, providing the only ending that doesn’t strain the reader’s credulity past the breaking point. There is room here for a sequel, but I hope Brubaker and Phillips resist the temptation and leave the story as it is.