Dual Review: The Returning #1 (of 4)

In this dual review two writers (in this case Samantha and Dustin) will take a look at the issue and give a score of: Buy, Borrow or Pass. Before we begin here’s what the issue is about from Boom! Studios: Near future, and some people who have had Near-Death Experiences have come back “changed.” They exhibit extreme behavioral changes, becoming increasingly paranoid and violent, and no one knows why. People who have had NDE’s fall immediately under suspicion, and in some cases, are murdered by justice-seeking vigilantes. It is in this world where Beth, a quiet high school student with a bright future, will learn just how quickly friends and family will turn on her when she has the bad luck of surviving the worst night of her life…

Samantha: BUY

The Returning’s premise was a very good bait for this comic. We have a group of people who encounter near death experiences or NDE. Once they return from their five minutes of death, they wake up a new person. Now most would think that these people would turn out to be nice or live every moment to the fullest. Instead these people turn into mass murders. They become violent and uncontrollable leaving the rest of society in fear. And what does any human being do when they face fear; protest the shit out of it.

Beth, who died for four minutes when her drunk bf got in a car accident, now faces persecution from the town. The town thinks she will strike at any moment, but for Beth she is innocent...so far. She even tries to be normal going to school and having friends, but no one trusts her. See NDE’s inside and out seem normal, but they can hit any moment.

The comic doesn’t need much help prompting the idea. I think it is a brilliant take on NDEs. Andrea Mutti draws the perfect set up to each scene. My favorite is when Beth gets in the accident and is taken by these demons. It is so rad. I also love the expressions she gives each character whether in the background or forefront; you can really see how each person is feeling. Some crazy shit happens in this comic, but at the same time it is a believable story, so check it out.


Dustin: BUY

I went in totally blind on this series. I love doing that and as weird as that is for some in my position to say… there’s just something amazing about being surprised by a book you nothing about. The Returning was not what I expected. It’s a zombie story… but without the rotting part.

What caught my attention the most about this story was the narration. It’s narrated by a teenage girl and boy does it come across that way; and the best part is that it’s not annoying. Jason Starr’s writing comes off genuine and the main character Beth’s dialogue comes across as age appropriate.

Andrea Mutti’s artwork is also wonderful. Not only does it match the tone of the series, but it’s wonderful to look at. Mutti captures the dark tone of the world that Starr creates. Their collaboration is powerful and I will definitely be back to finish the rest of the series. Check it out because this is the surprise hit of the week!

Score: BUY IT!

Writer: Jason Starr Artist: Andrea Mutti Publisher: Boom Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 3/12/14