W: Jackson Lanzing & David Server (Madagascar Penguins)
A: Joe Suitor (G.I. Joe, Marvel Zombies)
"The World's only superhero is dead."
Starting with what Alan Moore did with The Watchmen, and seeing what creators like Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis have done, It's always been a treat to see the "superhero paradigm" turned upside down. And let me tell you, Jackson Lanzing and David Server have successfully carried the paradigm shutdown torch to an eager and fertile pit. Within the flames is a fresh and beautiful mixture of the post-apocalyptic, superhero, and sci-fi genres.
Freakshow #1(of 3) slaps you dead center in the aftermath of what was supposed to be "the first step toward a brighter tomorrow." An experiment gone wrong has left in it's ruin, not only the death of the world's only super hero, but a new creation. An accident. Monsters. And they aren't happy.
Freakshow's departure from all the other "creation against creator" sci-fi stories out there is really what makes this new series shine. Lanzing and Server have done an exceptional job of enveloping the reader into the story, evenly, through multiple characters. The trouble with most post-apocalyptic stories, obviously, is the setup; getting the reader caught up with what's happened before the characters, the catalyst, etc. But, like I've been saying, the writers deliver an easy, accessible, and smooth ride into this new universe.
Story: After reading the last page, I thought to myself, *thought bubble* "so that's what it would be like if Warren Ellis wrote anime." I almost don't need to say anything else. Almost. To be fair, the story isn't REALLY anything THAT new, but it IS fun, it IS well executed, and it IS exciting. Just to clear a few things up, this isn't ground breaking in any way, shape, or form. What it IS, is good, clean, and accessible fun, brilliant story telling, and brutal slap in the post-apocalypse genre's face. And boy did it need it. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of ultra-violence for the sake of ultra-violence, so it may not be fair to bring up this point but, the action sequences(violent parts) are handled with a rare grace that leaves about 60% of the brutality up to the readers imagination. This thrilled me.
The characters are all super neat (pun intended), and are handled with just the right amount of attention and detail, but boy can I not wait get some back-story action going. I know I keep using this word, I know it means what I think it means, but everything about this issues is just so fresh. I'll say it again, if you've got post-apocalypse fatigue, this book will cure what ails ya.
Art: Let me tell you, this Joe Suitor fellow, he's got it. I remember seeing a couple preview pages a while back on David and Jackson's blog and thinking to myself *thought bubble again* "these characters, look so... sick!" It's been a good long while since I've seen art and panel progression that had a cinematic quality of this caliber. Suitor employs various techniques like quick-zooms, focus racks, and lens flares that will make any re-read just as rewarding.
Jury: I know it's getting old, but I can't stop thinking how refreshing this read was. I've got just as bad a taste in my mouth left over from the decades of post-apocalyptic comics crowding the shelves as you do. But this book, believe me, is different. The Lanzing/Server/Suitor team has graced the earth with a gift kids, that gift, is Freakshow.
Freakshow #1 gets a 5 out of 5
Freakshow #1 hits shelves today. The creative team will be signing copies at Golden Apple on Saturday Jan. 29th from 5-7pm.