In the aftermath of the terrorist attack at the end of the first issue, New York City is destroyed, the United States is devastated, and the government is proven ineffectual. Only a private security firm, a disgraced former FBI agent and a bunch of murderous miscreants can save the day. This unlikely alliance hinted at last time is not an especially original concept and their efforts are not likely to succeed. Nor are we given any reason to care about them as they were all presented as repellent. So all that really leaves as the primary focus of The Divided States of Hysteria is the brutality and that is not a sustainable position. It does nothing to support a story and it doesn’t add to an intelligent discourse either.
Where the first issue was successful in its outrageousness, the second has nothing to build on and none of the characters have been given anything resembling a redeeming feature. So where do we go from here? Seems to me Chaykin has backed himself into a corner, but he’s still got a few more chapters to create a more satisfying story.
I haven’t given up as not all the pieces have been set yet. I appreciate the artist/writer as provocateur. I am worried that this is all noise and no signal, but I will keep tuning in.