Written and drawn by Lee Bermejo (who you may recognize from Batman Noel and Before Watchmen: Rorschach) comes a brand new series: Suiciders. With a tagline like “In the post-apocalyptic city of New Angeles, killing isn’t just a crime – it’s entertainment,” it looks like we’ll get nothing less than an exciting and brutal action series!
This has been a long time coming (I remember this getting talked about and previewed back in 2013), so let’s see if the wait has been worth it. Is it good?
Suiciders #1 (Vertigo Comics)
About thirty or so years ago, Los Angeles was hit with an earthquake known as the Big One. As its name implies, the Big One did a huge amount of damage to the city and killed a majority of the population. In the aftermath, two new cities rose from the ruins and wreckage of the old: Lost Angeles, home to the lesser class, and New Angeles, a place for the higher class — whose lives are easy with access to the finer things in life. In the center of it all is the icon known as the Saint, a powerful figure involved in a deadly new game that has emerged from the rumble as well.
…I spray them down with cleaning fluid! Everyone will be cleansed in some way or another!
Suiciders is a bit difficult to get a read on in its first outing. Is the book bad by any chance? No, it’s not too bad and it does seem interesting from what I’ve seen so far. However, the difficultly lies in Suicider‘s story: The whole issue is basically setup, establishing the world the characters live in and a bit of characterization for the Saint, which the comic does a good job of. We’re given a good picture of what this universe is like, what to expect from it going forward, and the views that the people of New Angeles have.
That being said, I’m still not sure what the story will be about. Will it be about the Saint and his time as a Suicider (which is basically what people are called in this deadly sport); will it be about the social issues between the two cities and the rift between them; will it be about the people smuggling others into New Angeles, a combination of all of that, or is it something else entirely? It’s just hard tell from reading the first issue of what to expect with the book. I’m interested in learning more personally and the setup should be enough to hook some people in, but hopefully we’ll get a clearer idea about what we are getting soon.
The writing on the book is mixed overall. The pacing is good and the story flows well enough from scene to scene; the characterization is okay, but there isn’t much to absorb from the characters, besides the Saint of course. The dialogue is so-so and probably the weakest area, since the conversations characters have can feel stilted/odd in areas. Sometimes it sounds natural and sometimes not at all (like with the guards talking with each other in the opening).
The artwork, on the other hand, is the strongest part of this book by far. Lee Bermejo is truly a fantastic artist and really knows how to draw a comic. The characters look incredible and life-like, allowing for a fantastic range in facial expressions and body language. The locations are amazing and wonderfully detailed, bringing this entire world to life (I love the small scene in Lost Angeles that explores its appearance). The layouts are solid and the action, when we get to the death match, is intense looking. It’s all topped off by Matt Hollingsworth’s coloring, who really brings out the mood and gritty feeling in each scene expertly. I would almost recommend picking Suiciders #1 up for the artwork alone.
So this is where the Armored Titan from Attack on Titan goes when he’s not destroying city walls.
Is It Good?
Suiciders #1 is an interesting start to this new series. It’s a bit sketchy and rough around the edges thus far, but the solid setup and writing offer plenty of potential. Plus, the artwork on this book is just phenomenal in almost every way possible. I would recommend giving this book a look if the setup sounds interesting to you, especially if you like realistic, exciting art. (Who doesn’t?)