Heroes & Villains On Dead End Kids, Psi-Lords, and Sweetie

This week I’ve got a terrific trio of NEW comics to talk about! I can assure you that absolutely none of them are what I anticipate will be the completely bonkers Superman: Year One by Frank Miller. A lot of actual and digital ink has been used up by Miller’s works over the years and there’s no possible way that this book is going to meet both my expectations and preconceptions of what it should be. 

Now, on to the good stuff!

ADVANCE ALERT!

DEK 01
Dead End Kids #1
Frank Golgol (W)
Nenad Cviticanin (A)
Source Point Press

Okay, now this book isn’t out until July 24th but after getting a review PDF of the book I just had to write about it. Dead End Kids is a 3-issue murder mystery set at the very end of the 1990’s that focuses on a group of kids with less than stable lives. Lives that get considerably less stable when one of them gets murdered.

The book is very much a riff on the classic coming of age movie genre with an indie comics sensibility. Which is to say, there’s a realness here you’re not going to find in those movies which always seem to show you the best parts of being a kid. The first issue gives the readers glimpses of the protagonists (not ideal) home lives before they all congregate at their secret hang-out spot. It’s a near pitch-perfect encapsulation of what it’s like being that age…having the knowledge of the world outside of yourself but still being able to shut it out by hanging out with your friends for a few hours on a winter afternoon. 

I’m having a hard time believing the story we’re being presented with is going to fit in just three issues after such a strong first chapter. I fully accept that not every story need to be a 6, 9, or 12 issue epic and I have the sneaking suspicion we’re in for a tightly focused narrative over the forthcoming issues. Dead End Kids isn’t to be missed.

Psi-Lords-1-1-600x922
Psi-Lords #1
Fred Van Lente (W)
Renato Guedes (A)
Valiant

Admittedly, I’ve been sleeping on Valiant comics recently so this week I decided to jump in feet-first with Psi-Lords. I was WAY into the original run of Valiant back in the early 90’s and it’s a testament to how strong their stable of characters is now that I’m writing about them an eternity later.

With Psi-Lords I felt like I was joining the story very much in medias res, which based on the promotional blurb (“…WHO are they? And where the heck are they?!”) seems very much like a deliberate choice. The artwork is lush and doesn’t quite look like anything else out there right now. Like I mentioned above, this book comes with a TON of questions which I’ll be curious to see how it answers them…and how quickly it answers them.

 

Sweetie Volume.jpgSweetie Volume 1
Sean Dillon, Steven Petrivelli (W)
Sean Dillion (A)
Action Lab Comics

It’s always a joy to see an all-ages book that can actually be enjoyed by ALL-AGES. In my experience, all-ages is traditionally code for “safe for kids” and any enjoyment an adult may glean from it is entirely coincidental. In reading Sweetie I didn’t feel the story, dialogue, or action was being toned down to cater to a younger audience and I was as fully engrossed in it as I could be.

The book also feels cool. Dillon’s art pops and each character is unique and full of life…it’s just fun. The book’s protagonist Maggie could quite possibly be the most relatable character since the new Miss Marvel. She’s a super (pun?) fan that’s learned all the fighting styles and stunts of her favourite superheroes and I defy you to find a comics fan who hasn’t had some of the same thoughts. If Sweetie is the future of super heroics, where new heroes are inspired by their heroes and aspiring to be better heroes… I think we’re going to be okay.

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