Sinergy’s second issue is the back half of what would have been a pretty interesting first issue. After an issue of seeing her do largely nothing, we still see Jess do mostly nothing, but she at least gets involved in some action (not that kind of action, you pervert, that was last issue). This month, Jess’ dad becomes the target of two police officers looking for a serial killer (even though they acknowledge that there is never a body left behind, which seems like tenuous policing), he finally takes her out on her first patrol (which ends poorly, not even due to the fact that he doesn’t let her do anything), and she exchanges a lot of selfies with Leaf, from last issue.
Couple things that jumped out at me initially: Oeming is writing an 18 year old girl here, and doesn’t seem to have a lot of an idea what 18 year old girls are doing nowadays. I’m no spring chicken at 25, but I know that there’s only one, maybe zero shirtless selfies before a dude with a name like fucking Leaf starts sending Snapchats of the ol’ dongle. Taki Soma hints at that in her backup story, but even that this month was more like just a backup glimpse at things that were happening on the monster side; there was very little dramatic push.
As a related side-note, she seems to not realize that cameras might not capture the essence of a demon--if he looks like a demon in real life to a seer, a camera might not capture that. Is she just a dumb jock, or has she not seen any horror movie in the last fifteen years?
The main story is a lot of Jess complaining how little she gets to do and how she doesn’t have any control over her life because her parents are constantly interfering; we see a lot of lies going back and forth, but nothing that’s particularly surprising. A lot of the “surprises” get thrown at us right after they get set up, so we don’t have to do any work to put together the pieces. It starts out charming enough, but after two issues’ worth, it seems like maybe Oeming and Soma just don’t trust their readers to puzzle things out, given the right pieces.
Oeming’s artistic style is one that runs very hot and cold for me. It works on some level for me on Powers, because given how old that series is, it feels very of-the-time. It’s retro, but it’s always been that way, y’know? And with Mice Templar, it gives it a very otherworldly feel. With Sinergy, it just feels... weird. You can see the Toth and Timm influences, but taken to an extreme, especially with the coloring; there’s no one in this book with natural skin tones. Nowhere to be found are people with black skin or white skin or any other naturally occurring tone. It’s all greens and purples. We get it, it’s supposed to be this weird version of our world with spooky monsters running around and a demon dog that makes jokes about his balls! But at every turn the art seems determined to put people off.
This issue leaves us with a revelation about Jess’s home life and her dad’s more dastardly shit that he pulls, but it’s not enough to pull me in. Oeming and Soma have a fun character design with this hockey-playing girl in an antelope mask who apparently fights monsters, but they seem dead-set on not letting her fight monsters, and making her focus on what kind of selfie she should send to her boyfriend.
Co-creators/Writers: Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma Artist: Michael Avon Oeming Colorist: Taki Soma Publisher: Image/Shadowline Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/10/14 Format: Print/Digital