Thoughts about #1.
One of the main criticisms of the first issue of this new series from Image is that it wasn’t ‘exciting’, and that seems to come from people expecting fight scenes all the time with lots of violence. Yes, the first issue dithered a lot but it was an establishing issue, not to mention it was trying to convey some of the disconnect young people have from the world, hence the use of a Manic Street Preachers song title.
Well this issue also uses a Manics song as it’s title. This one in fact from the album This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours.
The first panel in this issue is of a hipster being thumped. People wanted excitement, well, here it is.
The opening of this issue establishes that this group of superhumans are a bunch of bastards that take what they want and they don’t care if that involves hurting people to get whatever they want. These people are powerful, but morally they’re wankers.
”Because we can” is the groups philosophy which is a horribly nihilist way to approach life, even if you’re a group of superhumans that aren’t accountable to anyone. After all, if you’re one of the most powerful people on the planet and all you can think of doing is robbing hipsters then then you’re really not that smart. This is where Syd, the girl saved by this group in the first issue, stands as she questions just why on earth these people need to do what they do.
There’s a little hint as to the mindset of the group here in the poster of the Richard Burton film, The Medusa Touch on the wall behind The Voice. That film featured Richard Burton as an incredibly powerful telekinetic who wanted to punish people by using his powers to create horrible disasters like plane crashes. It’s a great 1970’s British film but one not that well known these days, which is a pity as Burton turns out a cracking performance even though he’s probably pissed off his face most of the time.
Anyhow, The Voice explains that the reason they have so much is that they’ve had to fight for it, as after all, humanity would discriminate against them if they realised they lived among them. It’s a pretty sensible idea though it’s somewhat specious reasoning for beating people up because you fancy nicking their headphones.But they don’t choose their targets at random, there’s a reason behind the people they beat up and mug. In the case of the lad on the cover of this issue, it’s because he’s a tagger, and tagging in the area where this group is that means the wrong sort of attention is given to the area and that’s exactly what the group don’t need.
As someone living in Bristol, I’d like these kids to come pay us a visit…
So Syd has to try to come to terms that she’s not only a telepath, but is caught up in this group of sociopathic super powered lunatics, though ones with very good taste in music.
Is They’re Not Like Us an exciting comic? Yes, it is, and this issue doesn’t dither at all. In fact it’s a great bit of storytelling using the disconnect young people feel growing up to tell a story of what it’d be like if some of those kids had powers and didn’t give a fuck about using them. It’s not an exciting comic if you like men and women in spandex grimly twatting each other endlessly, but I’m enjoying how Eric Stephenson is spinning in music as a storytelling tool here.
Will Syd overcome her morality and join the group? Obviously she will, but it’s going to be exciting to see what happens…