After waiting for four years, fans of Gerard Way’s comic books can rejoice because he returns to the shelves this week with his all-new series ‘The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’. After earning critical acclaim with ‘The Umbrella Academy’ and almost creating his own Batman story, the former front man of My Chemical Romance creates a sequel to the band’s fourth and final studio album ‘Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’ in this title from Dark Horse Comics.
The series is set twelve years after the Killjoys met their demise and it picks up with the young girl that they died protecting as she makes her way in a fictional post-apocalyptic California. In the first issue, she meets a group of followers of the originals Killjoys who take her along as a part of their group. But they encounter some enemies in the form of rival gang members from a group known as the Draculoids and engage in a battle that dishes out a deadly blow to their ranks.
The first thing that I notice about this book is that there isn’t too much exposition. It spends very little time recounting what happened since the story left off in the album. Instead, it really jumps into the action right away and that’s perfectly fine since this seems to stand alone very well as it’s own story. And for someone like me who doesn’t remember all the details from MCR’s tale that works out very nicely.
I love the character of the DJ because it’s very reminiscent of ‘American Graffiti’. He seems to function in the same way that Wolfman Jack did by sort of leading us through the lives of these young kids as they came to be who they are. But this DJ is a bit more omniscient and could be playing a much larger role in this story and I’m very intrigued by that.
Finally, I’m a fan of the art style of this book. Dan Jackson does an incredible job of making Becky Cloonan’s artwork pop, almost the same way that Matt Hollingsworth does in Matt Fraction’s ‘Hawkeye’ (or just about anything he’s attached to really). Jackson just makes everything from the laser blasts to the masks and even the backgrounds so vibrant and I am so drawn to that sort of coloring. Good coloring can make good art great.
Right now, there’s still a whole lot of mystery surrounding this book. There are a whole lot of questions without answers, but I am definitely interested in this world that Way has created and I’m on board to find out more. Overall it was a pretty awesome first issue since it left me wanting more while giving me an adequate amount of satisfaction. Also, it’s totally inspired me to throw ‘Danger Days’ on my iPod to listen to during my second reading.
THE TRUE LIVES OF THE FABULOUS KILLJOYS #1
Written by Gerard Way & Shaun Simon
Art by Becky Cloonan & Dan Jackson