Review: BuzzKill #1 (of 4)

I was very intrigued the minute I saw this cover.  It shows a superhero smoking a cigarette on top of a skyscraper and staring out into the city…only in this city, all the other buildings are bottles of beer and liquor.  The title itself, Buzzkill, is stylized to look like you’re looking at it drunk.  We learn very quickly that this superhero gets his powers from consuming drugs and alcohol.  So, my first guess is that our protagonist gets buzzed and kills people.  I guess we’ll have to read on and see. The story really doesn’t give us much to work with in this first issue, it’s all very interesting but also very mysterious.  We don’t even learn the main character’s name (his real one or his superhero name).  It starts out with him going to an AA meeting.  We learn that he gained his powers over two incidences as he tells them to the AA group where he claims his name is “Ruben.”  First, he attends an upperclassman party as a freshman in high school.  They make him and his friends drink a ton, and on their drive home, our main character was ejected from the car and he ended up being the only one who survives; the fact that something that traumatic happened to him due to drinking caused him to not drink for another five years.

Buzz Kill #1 CoverAt another party, this time in college, he meets a girl named Nikki.  Now, before he decides to go in to this AA meeting, he calls her.  It’s been a few years since his college days, and it shows her (who seems to be) boyfriend seeing the phone.  She asks who it is, and he replies “Asshole?”  The phone lights up with a skull and crossbones on it, so it doesn’t seem that Nikki is too fond of “Ruben.”  Why-again, we’re not sure yet.  So back to his flashback.  In order to be in this fraternity, you have to down a whole keg of beer in the back of an unlit moving truck while it’s in motion.  “Ruben” ends up drinking the whole keg by himself, without the help of the others who are trying to be accepted into the fraternity.  After that, he claims he can’t remember what happened.  But on the page we see him in a superhero outfit standing in front of a whole block that’s destroyed.  It also seems that he put a guy in a coma, but we don’t get a clue on who that is or why he did it.

Towards the end, “Ruben” talks to Eric, a hero that looks kind of like the Helghan from Killzone.  It seems like this “Ruben” guy was part of a superhero squad-whether it be a crime-fighting one, a villainous one, or a vigilante one is-you guessed it-not mentioned.  We’re also led to believe that he’s legitimately trying to put his life together and he doesn’t really want to do the superhero thing right now.  But with a killer twist at the end, it doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to avoid it for too long…

I enjoyed the art quite a bit on this one.  It fits the dark and mysterious tone very well, and it has an almost quick and just-finished nature that I liked.  It’s almost care-free in nature, just like our main character presents himself throughout the story.  There are some points where this was a downfall, like when lines were sticking off of characters’ faces, but all in all it went along with the book very well.

This book was basically a huge cliffhanger.  I’m very much looking forward to next month’s issue to find out a host of things: what is “Ruben’s” real name?  What has he done in his past to make Nikki hate him?  What has he done as a hero?  And the list goes on.  This is an incredibly refreshing take on a genre that I normally don’t enjoy; Buzzkill proves to be a superhero story I can’t wait to read more of.

Score: 4/5

Writers: Donny Cates/Mark Reznicek Artist: Geoff Shaw Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/18/13