A bag of comics hanging off my office door. The holidays are always crazy when you have a family but this year is even more crowded and busy than usual. Getting to the comic shop just hasn’t been on the agenda lately. I was able to get the two weeks worth of books I had missed back on Sunday (I think it was Sunday but with the kids on break from school the days kind of blur) but they sat in the bag for days. Tonight when we got home from visiting friends I saw the bag and thought maybe I have five minutes to read something.
I picked up They’re Not Like Us honestly for only one reason, I saw Jordie Bellaire was on colors and I really dig her work. So when I sat down to read it I had no clue what the book was about. The concept is great! I grew up in the Chris Claremont era X universe and remember the “new” team fondly. If you’ve read the books (or seen any of the films) you know that the recruitment process usually goes a little something like, mutant powers activate, something untoward happens, Professor X and a few students show up and convince the mutant’s family to let them go to Charles’ school. With all the crazy suspension of disbelief super hero comics ask for this was the thing I had the most trouble with. Let’s be honest, without physical proof of powers manifesting (Bobby turning to ice in front of witnesses, or Scot’s eyes shooting beams) no one is going to believe the person even has “powers” and if they did believe you you’d be snatched up for “examination” faster than any super hero team could recruit you. Eisner-nominated NOWHERE MEN writer Eric Stephenson tackles that dilemma head on.
When a young woman has finally reached her breaking point. When she can no longer take the voices she hears and the fact that no believes she hears them. She decides to end it all, and almost succeeds. But instead of dying she finds out there are others like her and she can join them but at what cost? Family? Identity? Freedom? This is definitely a first issue full of set up, though instead of spending our time explaining where we are and what kind of world we’re in we get sucked along with out main character and feel just as disoriented as she does. Rather than see this as a problem I welcomed it, it sort of completed the experience for me. I picked this book up with no preconceptions, and was treated to a story that opened strong and carried me swiftly to the last page. Was the story engaging enough for me to buy issue two? It posed a lot of questions, when all was said and done there really wasn’t much exposition at all. I think I’ll be back for issue two, though if we don’t get a little more big picture in the next couple of issues I’ll probably move on.
I rarely pick up a book based on art alone but this was a good call. Simon Gane’s work was just the right shade of sketchy and mod, though also realistic and tight where necessary. Much of the book brought Yuko Shimizu’s The Unwritten covers to mind. Really excellent work that holds up on subsequent readings.
This book definitely wasn’t my usual fare but Eric Stephenson’s story and Simon Gane and Jordie Bellaire’s art work really made this a serendipitous purchase (not often I get to use that work correctly!)
Writer: Stephenson, Eric
Artist: Gane, Simon
Cover Artist: Gane, Simon
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
On Sale: December 24, 2014
Product ID: OCT140592
Publisher: Image Comics