The long-awaited first issue of Gerard Way, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan's The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys finally made its way into comic shops this week, kicking off a miniseries that continues the story that was set up in My Chemical Romance's 2010 album Danger Days. The project was first announced in 2009, and comes out well after the album it's based off of and even after My Chemical Romance's breakup.
The miniseries picks up some time after the events depicted in those cool My Chemical Romance music videos that featured Grant Morrison, with the story focusing on the young girl rescued by the Killjoys from Better Living Industries, or BL/Ind."When you read this book you're going to assume that this big clean corporation are the bad guys, and all these punky-looking freedom fighters are the good guys, and I think that the story really explores that as well -- who in fact is good at all," Way told CBR. "You basically have two extremes, and in the middle of these two extremes -- one being about control and one being about total chaos -- you have this girl. Both sides basically want this girl for their own reasons."
So, was it worth the wait? Here are a few opinions from around the web:
Chris Arrant, iFanboy: "On my first read through of this issue, 'frantic' is the word that came to mind. Way’s well-honed staccato dialogue is an art unto itself, and you can’t really grasp it all unless you give this debut issue multiple read throughs. Conceived originally as a sequel to the 2011 album Danger Days by his band, My Chemical Romance, this comic has evolved into an excellent standalone piece that in many ways works better on its own–there’s a lot to be gained when the reader is kept in the dark about the events that take place prior to the start of the issue." (4/5)
Jessica Boyd, Comicosity: Let’s be blunt, this is not a comic for all. The poetic narration of the comic is lead by an 'all knowing' radio D.J. that inspires and warns those fighting against the corporation. The main character is a messianic figure known as 'The Girl' and all of the original Killjoys, in the title, died trying to save her. Originally, this story was billed about a future run by vampires and robots. However, in this first issue, we see that they’re not vampires of the supernatural nature, but a product of B.L.I. We also see that the androids can be victims of the system they were created to serve. If you have not listened to the album this book is based off of, read the Free Comic Book Day introduction to this world, or done an internet search with previews and reviews, it’s not hard to see how a reader could get easily lost in the pages of the story. For those who see through the lyrical narration, there are plenty of mysteries and loose ends that hopefully are revealed as the series continues." (8/10)
Iann Robinson, CraveOnline: "More importantly, why is this story so disjointed? The beats are off, the pacing is uneven, and so much information is thrown at you all at once it becomes annoying to disseminate it. The only thing holding this story together is the monologue of hip DJ lingo buzzing through a radio. As the story grinds to a close, you’re left with nobody to care about. Way and Simon are so interested in throwing concepts at you that they never set up characters. Spare us some of the cool sci-fi details, and focus on the people central to the story. On a personal note, I would like to call an international moratorium on the idea that wasteland rebels must dress like 'punks,' complete with Mohawks and colored hair. Who, exactly, takes care of all these costumes and hairstyles in a post-apocalyptic wasteland? Thank god leather jackets, tight jeans, bullet belts and jewelry is in great abundance in the outer rim." (4/10)
Nat Webb, Comic Book Resources: "That said, the book is certainly fun to read, and Way's dialogue and pacing is as snappy as always. Ditto Becky Cloonan's art, which walks the line between her indie origins and a modern manga vibe. The Blade Runner design of Battery City is especially evocative, as are the stylish punk designs of the Ultra V's gang. Her lines are generally clean but become heavy and scratchy where they need to be, out in the blasted desert. Dan Jackson's flat, simple colors are extremely reminiscent of Mike Allred, whose Red Rocket 7 seems like a huge influence here." (3.5/5)
Jason Clyma, Broken Frontier: "Becky Cloonan’s art is just stunning — and it’s her work that breathes humanity into the characters of Killjoys #1. As to be expected with Cloonan, her knack for simple linework gives each character believable and relatable emotional depth, yet here she adds little hints of horror and grime that truly make each setting unique. It would not be difficult to claim that Cloonan’s art may be my favorite aspect of this brand new title."