Written by Guest Contributor: Jordan North True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys is a lot of things: dystopian cyber-punk universe, a transparent commentary on the potential perils of corporations in power, a visual and cultural playground of neon and ultra-chic clothing and lollipop terminology. It’s totally schizophrenic and this is both its biggest prat-fall and also happens to be the thing that makes it so damn entertaining.
There’s so much going on as to get you lost, but issue by issue, little by little I’m getting the big picture- and it’s a cool thing. What seemed like a random spattering of ideas is slowly forming a picture as the lore reiterates itself and continues to flesh itself out and give me new angles. I’m getting an idea for the motivations of the shadowy BLInd corporation, I feel for Blue the porno bot’s plight as I more and more see the corruption of Battery City and the grotesque abuse of civil rights that lies just beneath the surface hell, I’m even beginning to dig on the super-hip lingo of our heroes in the desert.
Plain and simple 'True Lives' is just weird. Much like MCR itself 'True Lives' is brutally, boldly, its own thing. If it gained enough reach the styles and slang on display alone could be enough to spawn a unique subculture.
This issue is the best yet as the book seems done with introducing characters and now is doing its part to flesh them out. Whether it’s the unlikely love story that occurs between android concubines, the bubblegum-punk underground coup gang or the redemption of a former scarecrow class hitman (did I say there was a lot of wackiness going on?), this issue more than any other makes you feel for these people and situations it`s established. It took time, but now that we get the rules and landscape we're free to explore these people and grow to empathize with their situations. And because of that scope and scale there’s a sense that something huge is building in a way that few other comics manage to pull off. It’s exciting stuff, and for the first time I’m invested in more than a, “let’s see how weird this gets” kind of way.
Little moments flesh out the world in a superior way. It’s easy to forget with all the flash and glitz that bad things are happening here. Very bad things. And it is commendable indeed that such a complex universe was possible to establish at all within a few short pages every other week; a real testament to the writing of Gerard Way and Shaun Simon. The burned-to-hell “ray junkie”, guy who bathes in the sun`s rays to get a twisted high and forget, if only for a bit, the reality he inhabits was haunting indeed and reminded us of the kind of society were dealing with here. As did Blue and Red, two “people” that for all intents and purposes were never even meant to feel real love and yet, it seems to be all that either of them have. Even so it`s not enough, and Blue gets to watch her lover die as the two spend “one last night together”.
Becky Cloonan and Dan Jackson do their part as well providing artwork that perfectly accents the tone of the narrative with a slightly manga-esque, clean and simple approach to line work and colors that pop and sizzle more than Soda himself does on the airwaves.
There’s been doubt attributed to the sporadic nature of this comic, hell I’ve even been a critic myself, but if this book continues the upstroke that it seems to be and gives us a payoff worth waiting for, it could be the sleeper hit that The Umbrella Chronicles was years before.
Writer: Gerard Way and Shaun Simon
Artist: Becky Cloonan
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: 8/14/13