Have you ever come up with a secret identity? Are you a do-gooder that has a strong urge to flaunt a costume? Do you feel your city’s safety rests in your hands? You could be a superhero, or you could be suffering from Sundown Syndrome. David Shrejic believes he has discovered a disorder and is performing his research within a support group where heroes share looney stories of their supposed powers and villains. But what’s worse: A number of characters chasing their own mental fantasies or the possibility that their threat is actually real?
Sundowners #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Let’s consider your favorite hero for a second. I know this is a Dark Horse review, but let’s use Batman an example. Batman: is he a nocturnal knight or a grown man in tights with post-traumatic stress? This is a common question that’s applied to superheroes throughout all universes, the question of whether or not our favorite icons are heroic or bat@#$% crazy (Excuse the pun.) Now Batman’s sanity is validated by the hordes of infamous villains he faces on a daily basis, but what if that wasn’t the case? What if no one never really saw a hero’s nemeses?
This concept is explored as Tim Seeley introduces us to a handful of colorful and questionable heroes who patrol the Chicago streets. The support group consists of heroes: Crowlita, The Concerned Citizen, Arcanika, old man Karl, and Mr. Outside (Who we don’t see in this issue). Each of these individuals shares a personal story with their support group about their personal struggles with their current villains. However, it’s when their session ends, things get interesting. One of our heroes are kidnapped while the others are easily disarmed by what appears to be the very villains they were previously discussing in the meeting, however they’ve banded together to form some evil group of evil (Not truly their name, but I’m sure that’s their line of business.)
This first issue is a great hook for this new, quirky series that plays with all the superhero stereotypes that we’ve seen before, but provides a more realistic spin. There’s a strong possibility you could see these very heroes in your local Walmart and there’s something strangely appealing about that. Seeley provides just enough evidence to suggest their mental instability right before the twist that makes you reconsider your stance on these loonies. It’s the perfect amount of comedy and mystery without making it too bizarre to comprehend, but just enough to make you excited for next issue. The characters are both unique and seemingly realistic and Jim Terry provides solid art to support this curious tale. I also have to give Sean Dove some credit for a great range of color throughout the entire issue.
Is It Good?
It’s definitely grabbed my attention and will be near the top of my list for next month. I’m excited to see where Seeley takes the series and whether it plays into more realism or supernatural themes. e.g. What’s up with the opening striptease from Miss. Boil-Back? And Crowlita now has a crow’s head; how long will that last? Solid opening overall, definitely worth grabbing.