Review: True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #4

Written by Guest Contributor: Jordan North I just cannot land on this comic. Can’t put my finger on it; for everything it strives for and gets right and makes me think about it also takes a few steps, not backwards necessarily but-- caddy-corner or something, some weird direction.

Issue 4 again focused on the telling of many small stories within the same continuity to elaborate on this huge world we’ve been introduced to these past few issues and help flesh it out from many perspectives. A cool idea, but only some of it works; and what does work only kind of does.

Red and Blue the porno droids make a comeback in a story that’s heartfelt but kind of convoluted. Red is written in such a way that it seems to me she’s pulling Blue’s heartstrings to live a little longer, something about her dialogue feels a bit selfish in a way that undermines the impact of the love story quite a bit.

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #4 CoverEx-scarecrow Korse is back as well and this time he’s for some reason gay. I get it. I get that the idea is to paint this regime as cruel and hateful by killing Korse’s lover, but it felt like a serious case of –in this case-- gay lover in refrigerator. The whole thing was introduced for shock value and seemed to play on a sensitive concept for cheap reasons. This, like the Red and Blue bit was only semi-effective.

Things were interesting with the nameless girl and Val and his gang who as of now are preparing for a war. It’s cool to see this group of young warriors gearing up. With raves and cool clothes, it feels like the kids from those art-neo Levis commercials going out to war. It’s different and fun. Except the leader Val, who undermines the potential of a neat setup. On a dime he suddenly became pretty damn evil; lamely evil. Yeah some goons found his hideout but the sudden corruption feels forced. When he says the line “killing is the new cool” I rolled my eyes. No matter how many of his friends got hurt or whatever this guy was all about valor and hope and love like a week ago. That he would be warped and dumb enough to say something that obviously corrupt for any reason just felt like poor writing.

This series continues to intrigue me. The characters and setting are bright and deep down they have something to offer, it’s just often muddied by poor writing and an imbalance of ambition. Becky Cloonan and Dan Jackson continue to kill it on art; coming together to make what is one of the most visually striking worlds in comics. It alone is worth a peek. I also applaud their interpretation of what I’m sure are zany ideas that they may be handed. I have hope for this series but I’m not overly optimistic as it seems that for every short sprint here there is a stumble. Where is the Gerard Way that gave me #5 and Pogo? Maybe the blame lies with Shaun Simon? We’ll see how this thing goes. Fingers crossed.

Score: 3/5

Writers: Gerard Way and Shaun Simon Artist: Becky Cloonan Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/11/13