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‘The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys:’ Advance TPB Review (Chasing the Past in the Future)

Years after the end of the world, a group of totally radical vigilantes called the Killjoys waged a war against the oppressive corporation, BLI. They sacrificed themselves to save the young Girl traveling with them. A decade later, she must face the impossible might of BLI.

This comic is a future-punk post-apocalyptic coming-of-age story. We follow the unnamed Girl as she spends her time with a group of aspiring Killjoys and the surviving friends of the original Killjoys. The former group embraces violence and chaos, while the second group has put away their guns. The heart of the comic is the struggle for the Girl to find her own path to take down BLI.

Becky Cloonan’s art and Dan Jackson’s colors are phenomenal. Every page is beautifully detailed and pops with color. Plus, the guns all look like the original Nintendo light guns. (Insert mental image of that damned dog from Duck Hunt.) The vibrancy of the desert and the wild characters that inhabit it disguise the horrifying reality of their existence. They live in constant fear of being crushed by the corporate overlords of BLI. The only recourse is to fully embrace their wild fashion and pretend that they are invincible.

The writing by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon brings this bizarre future to life brilliantly. Every single character feels like they grew up in this beautiful nightmare. The hopeless denizens of BLI’s Battery City are positively beaten down by the system, while the nomads in the desert are raging futilely against the impenetrable walls of Battery City. The plot moves along at a nice pace that makes everything that happens seem predestined.

Somehow, this comic does something that I thought was impossible. It makes me care about characters who are “cool,” even as I was empathizing with the battle-weary adults that had lived through a lifetime of war. I almost never like the cool kids. The story of mostly good versus entirely oppressive plays out in a new and interesting way in this comic. The weird setting and weirder characters never felt cartoonish or odd for oddness sake. If you are looking for a great, post-whatever comic that is one part Tank Girl and one part ’80s Nintendo, then I want to be your friend. Also, you should check this comic out.

Four Post-Apocalyptic-Post-Punk Desert Rats out of Five


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