I summed up the first issue of They’re Not Like Us rather simply: It was fine. It lacked excitement, but had a decent enough upside to it. It felt slow, but had a potentially intriguing ending. The main character was good, but the rest of the cast was just sort of there. I said that you should wait until the second issue hits before you check the comic out, to get a better grasp of the situation before you commit to anything. It’s out now, so let’s see what we got. Is it good?
They’re Not Like Us #2 (Image Comics)
After we watched the special little group of X-Men wannabes beat the ever loving shit out of some poor guy for his stuff, the unnamed girl they forcibly placed the name Syd upon hears about this from their sort of leader guy. He also tells her that to live in their world and live their lifestyle, they got to do terrible things to keep it up. So, yeah, he’s not exactly winning her over with his pitch to her about living their life and killing her family. However, she may not have a choice in all of this.
Who needs comics or stories with likeable or interesting characters? Why not have a cast full of nothing but assholes?
I asked people to wait until the second issue before making a judgment on whether or not they should read it. Unfortunately, you may have to extend your wait a bit more, because the second issue, again, doesn’t have much happen. The issue basically consists of “Syd” hearing more about the place she was taken to, how they operate, and her final thoughts after being there for a day. The story is still building things up it seems, but it doesn’t in return offer up any plot progression or much follow up from the cliffhanger, and there’s not much characterization besides the main character. It’s kind of slow going and almost uneventful issue all together, still really not giving the audience much to chew other than its demented X-Men-like premise.
The one thing that really grabbed me while I was reading this, however, were the characters in the book. While there isn’t much characterization or even all that much focus to one or two members of this group, the comic did establish one very big thing about them. They are all, thoroughly and completely unlikeable pricks that make you want to punch them in the face. Seriously, besides Syd (who is even questionable considering the ending of the issue), no one is likeable and they give you no reason to care about anyone. The issue opens up with them beating the crap out of a bunch of people and stealing their stuff, and while they try to explain their actions against these people and say they were hurt in the past for being different, it’s not convincing. It honestly makes them look worse since the audience doesn’t see any of these supposed “abuse” they received for being different and they take on a very extreme high and mighty attitude to say they are much better than everyone else.
Now, I’ve heard people say that characters don’t really need to be likeable to be good or well-written characters. Honestly, that’s true (I mean, I love Ladd Russo from Baccano and he’s a serial killer psychopath through and through) and I see what people mean by that. The problem is the comic doesn’t really make the rest of the cast all that deep, give any layers (even hints at layers); or any charm this early on. They all blend together and come across as what they are: douchebags. Could this change as time goes on? Certainly, but the comic isn’t doing much to make you care, sympathize, or even find them all that interesting.
No, how about I blame you and your hipster looking friends?
But enough about the other characters, let’s talk about the person they named Syd. She is still a very solid and well-written character, which really makes her stand out from the rest. She feels very believable, having all the reactions to this gang’s insanity and lack of morality we the audience would have if we were in her situation. She even points out the obvious flaws in the villains’ arguments about why they are in the right at some points and you do feel the pressure and the horror of being trapped in this situation. However, towards the end, a bit of the douchey behavior of the other characters starts leaking into her and unfortunately, she starts losing that sympathy we could have for her. It feels a bit tacked on at the end, with little real buildup for why she would start changing her mind (I mean, it’s a long jump from where she was to becoming a killer and fucking over anybody in her way like the others). Hopefully, this is addressed next issue, because this sudden change isn’t particularly believable and may start ruining the only real and reasonably written character in the book.
The artwork is like the writing. It’s perfectly acceptable and does the job. I mean, there’s really nothing to look at here outside of one good page (where we see “Syd” and her telepathic power in action and how it breaks her down due to hearing every single thing in the city), since not a lot is happening in the book. The characters look fine outside of how bumpy and rough they look in a few scenes, the layouts are decent, it’s rather nice the majority of the panels have actual backgrounds to them, and the coloring is fine. However, the artwork is just average looking and really doesn’t have much to it in the end.
Care to elaborate on that so-called torment? Otherwise you seem like the real bitch here honestly.
Is It Good?
They’re Not Like Us #2 is really not that good. There’s really not much to it at this point, with the slow pace and a lack of character growth or even much story. The only thing this comic really had was showing us that the majority of the characters were incredibly unlikeable and had no real depth or interesting aspects to them, making it really hard to care about anyone. Again, maybe there will be something to this comic as more issues come out, but right now, there’s really no point in reading this currently. There are much better comics you could be spending your money on than this.