Mar 30th, 2016
A whole generation has grown up since the Great Quake, and people like Trix and her brother Johnny don’t know what life was like before New Angeles crumbled. Suffice to say, they’ve learned how to make the most of living inside the walled city, and particularly within their ’hood. Johnny is the leader of the Kings of HelL.A., a street gang ready to protect its turf against any and all comers—though Johnny may have taken things too far when he crossed Leonard, a former Suicider known as the Coyote. Things are about to get a whole lot more violent. Meanwhile, Trix is finding love in the arms of Johnny’s best friend, and their star-crossed romance is going to bring trouble of an entirely different kind.
I will preface this with stating I’ve never read Suiciders by Lee Bermejo, and from what I could tell, that did not prevent me from enjoying this story. The set up for what the reader needs to know is all here: a big quake has hit the west coast, LA is in ruins along with the rest of CA and people are doing whatever they can survive. Civil Unrest runs rampant and street gangs rule the streets. Our main characters were born on the day of the Quake, grew up in poverty and rough times, lost their parents and now run the streets in a small section of their old neighborhood. An area that a big company wants to demolish and take over. That’s not their only problem, a rival street gang wants the territory as well, and like hell are Kings of HelL.A. just gonna sit back and let it all happen!
This issue has a lot packed into it: a forbidden love, a quick recap of events leading to current state of LA, a street gang fight, and an introduction of an old Suicider (linking back to the previous series by Bermejo) named El Coyote. We also meet “The Mulholland Corp” who definitely have big plans for Kings of HelL.A.’s turf. While we get some beautiful covers and intro from Bermejo, series artist Alessandro Vitti comes in strong and puts out some fantastic pages. Faces look full of life, body language is natural and the lighting/colors give us a very warm feeling in this hot, post-quake world. I’m curious to see how Bermejo will bring this all together and where it will end!
The Hey!: A kickass street gang fight, that gets taken up a few notches once El Coyote joins in! The story also moves comfortably and doesn’t feel stifled.
The Eh: For all that’s good, there is still the feeling of “oh, another post-apocalyptic story” that is hanging over everything. I’m hoping Bermejo will be sure not to let this fall into cliché territory and keep it fresh.
The What?: Beautiful, BEAUTIFUL covers from Lee Bermejo here! His work is just absolutely fantastic.
Who should read this series?: Definitely fans of Suiciders (Bermejo’s first series), and anyone who enjoys some post-apocalyptic storytelling.
Why should you buy this book?: It does everything an issue #1 should do. Sets up the story, gives us a good introduction to the characters, and establishes some plot points that will play into future issues.
Score : B+