Review: A Train Called Love #1

I don’t even know what I expected with A Train Called Love, but this wasn’t it. And I do mean that in a good way. This story features a busy ensemble with several different stories that will no doubt intersect at some point. I’m curious to see if- and how- they connect, but for right now, I’m pretty fascinated by the individual stories we’ve seen so far. So there’s Valerie, who gets creepy voicemails from her perv neighbor. He routinely watches her from across the street, and she’s not going to take it- she marches over with a baseball bat only to find him freshly murdered. So fresh that the murderer is still on the scene. She has sex with him.

Honestly, my first reaction was “this comic isn’t for me.” Then I thought, wait a minute, hell yeah, get it Val. Sure he just killed her neighbor, but the neighbor had it coming, so why shouldn’t she get hers? When I got past my knee-jerk “gross no thank you” reaction, I got pretty into the idea of Valerie and the hitman getting it on right off the bat. It’s an icebreaker, is what it really is.

TrainLove01-Cov-A-BraunMy favorite moment had to be Mike discovering he works for a couple of Klan members. The situation is pretty horrific, but their reaction (“oh my god how embarrassing”) was just absurd enough to make it funny. They go on to explain that they aren’t racist, not really, it’s not black people per se, it’s more the immigrants, you see-- and the hole they dig could definitely be seen from space. While thinking you’re going to another day of work and instead stumbling upon a Klan party- I mean seriously it’s a damn barbecue- is ten kinds of horrible, the moment is comical. The Klan couple even try to offer him wine- as though he’s going to join the party- all the while explaining that it’s not “you people” they have a problem with.

Then there are the villainous caricatures that Myles, the hitman, is wrapped up with. They’re like a weird mesh of villain tropes, like if you asked a seven year old to design the bad guys. It suits the story and the whole vibe of the book (the vibe being awful situations occurring in an absurd manner). I mean, sure, the baddies might be after you, but they also look like that, so it’s hard not to laugh.

Marcy gets the least amount of screentime in this one; so far she’s a background character, and she seems aware of the fact. Her insecure and timid mannerisms are her main feature at this point, though she’s also the frontlady of a band, and that’s probably pretty cool.

This comic is absurd and funny and weird. I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I’m definitely glad I have this one a chance. The story jumps around, following these different characters with extremely different plotlines, and it works. Between all the “seriously? Seriously???” moments, it’s hard to pinpoint what, exactly, I enjoyed about this comic. All I can say is that it’s unique, and it’s interesting, and it’s got me sticking around for #2.

Score: 3/5

A Train Called Love #1 Writer: Garth Ennis Artist: Marc Dos Santos Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/7/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital