Review: Throwaways #1

As comic books become more and more mainstream they suffer from formulaic writing. What that means is that more and more of the stories are structured and paced the same. More of the same narrative devices are used and the results are that you can read a brand new series and feel familiar with the story already. Which can be good and bad depending on the reader. Because you run the risk of it feeling too similar and thus not “wowing” the audience. Whereas newer comic readers will be able to latch onto a series faster. There’s one big linchpin that’s required for this to work though… you still have to have an interesting and well told story.

Throwaways was a struggle for me. I hated the title and the way that it was explained to the reader because it felt like a cheat in the story. There was no other way for me to learn that information without pointless exposition and so they just put it at the front of the story. It’s a title that will only make sense later down the line within the story. I know, this guy, focusing on something dumb like the title, but the title is our instant view into the world and when it feels out-of-place, the rest of the story does too. And I'm not the only person in the world that racks their brain trying to Throwaways-#1figure out what a title has to do with the rest of the product.

Going back to the formulaic writing, this book is riddled with it. The first glaring example of this is the opening that places us in the middle of action with two characters we’ve never met. Then the oh so dreadful “4 Hours Earlier” caption appears as we’re about to work our way back to this scene. The fucked up part? The real opening as I call it, would have been a better start to the story. Its intense, it completely catches you off guard and it hits the ground running. It does everything the other opening doesn't. Why, oh why they chose to go with the “open on action and work our way back” style of opening I will never understand.

There’s a gap in the story as well when one of the characters somehow makes it out of danger and we’re never shown. We’re told that’s what happened, but when three people are being chased by super decked out military looking dudes that are shooting first and asking zero fucking questions… well it’s hard to believe that they would just let one of them go.

There’s powers and shit. Of course there are. It’s like military X-Men and that’s really the best example I can give for the book. Our ex-Military solider has some unexplained power that she may have gotten from being experimented on by the government during the war. Our punk rocker who lives in his separatist father’s shadow and doesn’t know that punk is dead, has telepathy or technopathy. Basically he can do stuff with his mind and see stuff on technology. Call it what you want. He also still wears a "Black Flag" shirt which in a way tells us everything we need to know about him.

The art was actually really satisfying. The action wasn’t spectacular, but it was decent enough to follow what was going on. The rest of it has a penciled look to it, even with the coloring still. Steven Sanders has an interesting style of coloring. The line work is thick at times and lite other times, but there is a balance that works. The art isn’t perfect, but it has so much personality that it really elevated the story.

This issue gives you every reason to come back for the next issue, but not in a good way. It does it in the way that it sets up numerous story-lines, numerous characters, and presents a lot of questions, but answers very little. I’ll be back for the second issue because I don’t feel like I learned anything about this storyline other than “somebody wants to capture this dude and kill that lady.” At the end of the day that’s all I got from this first issue.

[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Throwaways #1
Writer: Caitlin Kittredge
Artist: Steven Sanders
Letterer: Rachel Deering
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $2.99
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital