Review: Heartthrob #3

Callie had a problem, she fixed it getting a new heart and finding a new lover in Mercer; both of those mutually inclusive. She spent her summer learning how to con, grift, steal, and cheat people from him and Callie has loved every second of it. Now comes her biggest score: steal back from the insurance company that took so much more than money from her.

I’ve almost fallen completely in love with this series. The relationship between Callie and Mercer has that truly horrifying air of brand new and still going through its honeymoon stage, one in which they both know exactly what the other one is feeling. I almost fall for it as well if not for the troubling fragments of a flashforward Sebela has shown at the end of every issue. It gives me a Dog Day Afternoon feel and makes me more interested about finding out how Callie and Mercer get there, and how will they get out? How can you dump someone when they’re actually attached to HEARTTHROB-#3-MARKETING_Preview-1whatever you do? These are the questions this issue poises by showing some trouble in literal paradise as well as pick at the craving Callie already has for her new life of crime. While I love the constant use of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album while robbing the bank, I would like more references to it, the progression of the story and Mercer’s attitude had don’t stop thinking about tomorrow chorus running through my head, so more direct quotes and references would be fun to add into this issue. Three issue in, I feel like this story will flow more consistently as a trade paperback. As fun as it is to read it month to month, reading four to five issues in a row without skipping a beat will carry a lot more power to it, as the progression from issue to issue carries more continuity than most monthly titles.

Working in a comic book store, I not only get to review this titles online but I also have the opportunity to pitch new series to the Wednesday crowds and help them pick up a new title. Heartthrob being one of those I put in as many hands as I could when it came out, one of the most interesting things I found was how polarizing Robert Wilson IV’s art was to people, while some dug it and gave the series a shot (many of whom are now subscribers to it), some just couldn’t dig into the pages because of the art. While I think it’s a fantastic and unique style that mixed with Filardi’s coloring which sets the story right along that new generation of 70s filmmakers who pushed the boundaries of topics and visuals. Days that feel out of Easy Rider, escapes that hit like Butch and Sundance, subversive sexual visuals that hint at their life the way The Graduate did. All the visual elements are there for a perfect period piece.

Heartthrob shows you what Callie is capable of, how she’s able to take control and command a situation when needed, yet there’s that inherent fragility that comes with her past and makes one care so much about her.

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Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Robert Wilson IV
Colorist: Nick Filardi
Publisher: Oni Press
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 6/22/16
Format: Print/Digital