I want to be kind to Sundowners when reviewing it because I think it’s trying to do something original, but I’m torn because at the moment I still don’t know what the hell is going on. A comic book about a superhero support group at first glance, Tim Seeley and Jim Terry seem intent on taking this book way beyond that into stranger worlds where H.P. Lovecraft and Grant Morrison hold séances. This issue picks up right after the previous one, and immediately it gets confusing. Last issue’s cliffhanger turns out to be nothing more than a trick of perception, or is it? That’s the main problem with Sundowners so far. It’s not apparent what our perspective on the story is. Because the cast is rife with characters that are mentally disturbed, there’s no clear idea about what is literally occurring in the comic’s reality, or even if characters are experiencing events in the same manner. I realize that’s possibly Seeley’s intention, but it definitely occurs to such a level as to diminish to the title’s enjoyment.
After the initial stunner, we’re introduced to Mr. Outsider, a member of the Sundowners support group who didn’t make it to last issue’s meeting. Posed as a Moon Knight-type figure, Mr. Outsider tasks Arcana, Crowlita and The Concerned Citizen with finding Dr. Shrejic, their sleazy support group leader, while he tracks down the elderly Karl and his kidnappers.
Once they do find him, Dr. Shrejic rejects their story and dismisses them, proving once again that he’s an entirely unlikable character who only hopes to use the group’s mental disorders to revive his failing career. The three Sundowners go their own ways, and nurse the trauma of the night by their own means. In this regard, Seeley succeeds at introducing new information about each character’s origins through dialogue with supporting characters that’s not only easy to understand, but provides added dimension to our leads. Meanwhile, Mr. Outsider uses his parkour skills to sneak into the church we got a glimpse at the beginning of last issue, ending the story with more questions for readers.
Sundowners may still turn things around as Seeley starts providing more about what’s going on in its world. However, I don’t think I possess the patience required to sit through another issue at the moment, especially since Jim Terry’s art fails to make an impression this issue with the exception of one great moment for Mr. Outsider. If you crave a convoluted mystery in small doses then this may be for you. For others like myself though, it may just end up being something I read in trade form at a bookstore someday.
Writer: Tim Seeley Artist: Jim Terry Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 9/24/14 Format: Print/Digital