Secrets of the Cell (Archaia Entertainment), the second installment in Bothell-based Royden Lepp’s graphic novel series Rust, centers on the Taylors, the quiet farm family whose lives were disrupted by the arrival of Jet Jones in part one, Visitor in the Field. The new book flashes back 48 years to Jet Jones’s escape from the military compound where it seems he was part of a project turning boys into jetpack-wearing weapons to save the world from armies of robots. Back in the present day, eldest Taylor son Roman is intent on rebuilding a couple of “model-C” robots to code for farm work, a project that quickly turns sour. Lepp’s tale is a story of few words. Several pages contain only facial expressions—Jones’s jaw clinched with determination in one frame, his mug contorted in agony the next. But the minimal dialogue is bolstered by the artwork, sepia-toned images that—robotics aside—could almost pass for photos shot a century ago.

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