Originally published in a collected 3D format in 2014, The Joyners is making a comeback and this time it’s in color. With superstar artist David Marquez at the helm (currently drawing the main Civil War II book), can this series find a new audience? Is it good?
The Joyners #1 (Archaia)
So what’s it about? Check out our full preview with synopsis to find out.
Why does this book matter?
It’s obviously being sold with the push that we get to see the creator-owned work of the current big time Marvel artist on display. Beyond that this is a deeply psychological look at characters living in the not-too-distant future, but they’re just as screwed up as we are, even with all the great new technology to enjoy.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s safe to say the visuals of this title shouldn’t be missed with much of the panels looking simple, but very stylized. The simplicity lends itself to the futuristic theme and in some ways it’s reminiscent of Steve Jobs’ Apple products. That connects with the main character who is basically a very successful inventor of technology living in a city in the clouds. He’s finally nailed down a technology that will change the world, but as we learn through dialogue between he and his boss, his life is anything but simple. Marital strife, bad parenting on his part, and a restless home life has made George Joyner a miserable person. With so much perfection around him, how can he be so broken?
I want those.
Marquez and writer R.J. Ryan literally crack George’s head open in a fascinating full page that breaks down what he’s thinking by percentage. Daily worries, sex and even a few secrets are on his mind and in one stroke Ryan and Marquez show the complexity of this man. Like us there’s a lot on his mind, including his net worth that’s more than he could ever spend in a lifetime, but deep down there’s trouble brewing there. It’s as if Ryan and Marquez are showing us how, even in a perfect future world, we’re all a little bit broken inside.
George’s wife Sonya even explains this, saying he hasn’t been right in years. This is the type of comic with a lot of dialogue and the requirement to read in between the lines. The reader must decipher what’s really going on deep down, and that makes this sort of read almost like a mystery. What is going on with George? Why is his family life in such shambles? And is that secret he was ruminating on earlier in the issue true? Based on the prologue in this issue it’s going to get complicated really fast, and his stepfather is probably going to be involved with it.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Much of this first issue is introductory which makes for the bigger story, and the mystery that’s clearly just underneath it all, left to be unearthed at a later time. Because of this, the issue ends with not much of a hook to keep reading (though I probably will due to the psychological elements), as we’re left too much in the dark. The characters are difficult to root for or understand at this point which might be part of the problem. Like Steve Jobs, George seems to be some kind of emotionless genius, and even when we see him at his weakest it’s hard to feel much for him. It may just be that this series will be a slow burn type of story, but as first issues are concerned it’s a good intro with not a lot to look forward to just yet.
Thought bubbles, you don’t see those everyday!
Is It Good?
A thought provoking and cerebral experience that will make you think about life. It’s too early to tell what it’s all about, but the visuals and characters are vividly immersive.