Story By: Jeff Lemire
Story By: Emi Lenox
Art By: Emi Lenox
Publisher: Image Comics
School days, it has been said, are the best days of our lives. Now, I have to say mine were ok but then I didn’t have to cope with the issues that the gang in this new book from Image, Plutona, have to face.
As the issue opens we see the world from the beaten and the damaged and we aren’t even with the main protagonists yet. Slowly we are introduced to Teddy, a superhero trainspotter, Diane, with her new jacket and puppy, Mie and her handheld game addicted brother Mike and finally Ray, who lives with an abusive father. It’s like an alternative version of Recess. Over the course of the book, we learn some secrets, have suspicions answered and basically see the five hang together long enough to find a common cause.
This book is truly a collaborative affair. The story is by Emi Lenox and fan favourite Jeff Lemire, with Lemire providing the script and Lenox the art. Now, bearing in mind this the first issue and also bearing in mind reviewing a single book can be like judging a meal based on the entre, I still feel a little disappointed in the overall story. Between the pair, the books read like a cross between E.T and a certain episode of Batman: The Animated Series and not one of the good ones! I am not going to say which one as I don’t want to spoil the book, but if you have an idea, feel free to leave a comment below.
What does work better is the script. With a small group like this, it is to easy to stereotype the characters as the chubby one, the cool one, the nerd, the bully and whilst that may be the case at first glance, Lemire gives enough credence to each character that they feel real. The discussion about the jacket for example is bittersweet in both its setup and conclusion.
As stated, Emi Lenox is on art. I haven’t seen much of her work before and that is my loss. I like the way that the characters are depicted, each one has their own look which in turn, helps solidify them. Again, using the jacket instance, the emotion just pours from Diane, practically crying out to be accepted by Mie. Jordie Bellaire provides the colors for the book, helping to create the overall ambience.
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I have read enough of Lemire’s work to have a little faith in the story. Still, I do hope that the main course and following desert are more fulfilling and substantial.