The paranormal gets a whole lot sexier.
The first issue of Punk’s Not Dead opened up the reader to highly original premise of a mother who abuses daytime talk shows to show off her “problem child” son, a paranormal department within the British government, and a representation of Johnny Rotten in ghost form. All three were bound to come together, and this issue progresses that nicely.
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
The ghost of dead punk rocker Sid is unlocking some pretty strange abilities in teenage geek Fergie, giving him a taste of power that he never imagined. But will he use it to clean his room, alter the solar system… or pick up girls? Meanwhile, MI5’s irascible baller Dorothy Culpepper, and her nervous, new recruit, are drawn to the Extra-Usual Affairs involving a scandalous haunting in Whitechapel in “Teenage Kicks,” Part 2!
Why does this matter?
The first issue was an excellent opener introducing its premise and characters expertly. Plus it looks so unique and should have even the most prudish art fans interested.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
What a crazy first date.
This issue establishes rules, gives us a taste of the paranormal department’s day job, and progresses the powers of the protagonist that are trippy as hell. There’s a lot going on in this issue, circumventing the sophomore slump so many new series fall into. Barnett plots a good issue, cutting between characters in a way that keeps your interest up, and sharing the love across the cast of characters. The first issue established characters and set up the premise well and this issue takes that further. A Sid Vicious ghost follow you around can’t last forever.
The paranormal agency continues to be great fun in the story, going on a mission to exorcise a ghost from a home. This not only foreshadows the (probable) dangers for Sid, but it helps show that this department means business. Ms. Culpepper continues to be a fun character who has seen it all but hasn’t changed a lick because of it.
Martin Simmonds draws in a style that’s wickedly different from anything you’ve seen before. It has an artistry that you’ll respect and a flair with color that pops. Take for instance a scene where Sid gets too far from the protagonist and seems to be blown away. The use of wispy lines suggest a supernatural wind is blowing, and the green socks and blue face of Sid make him look unnatural. The panels always seem to be playing with foreground and background giving each page a layering that adds complexity to a scene.
I really like this chick.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The only element that continues to have me scratching my head is Sid Vicious. Why was he chosen exactly? So far it seems to be a random connection between the protagonist and Sid–hopefully there’s more of a purpose to choosing this rocker–but as it stands he’s sort of a fun sidekick and not much more.
Is It Good?
This second issue progresses the story and starts to establish rules that’ll make everyone’s lives harder. Plus it’s visually outstanding!