This issue’s title is again taken from a Manic Street Preachers song, this time a B Side from one of their latter singles, Indian Summer. I do think the titles of these issues are passing some people by, never mind the entire thinking behind what the Manics were trying to say and because of that people are missing a lair of disconnect that Eric Stephenson is trying to create here in this story of super powered youth trying to protect themselves from society at any cost. As for this issue, it picks up Syd’s slow incorporation into the group.
This means dealing with violence and becoming part of the violence the group inflicts upon regular people every day as she’s trained to use her abilities.She also finds more about the politics of The Voice, and the group itself as they have a very Marxist viewpoint. upon modern society.
And that guy in the red is prominent for a reason as it turns out after a bit of mind reading that he’s a paedophile which is more than enough reason to get Syd to engage in a bit of the old ultra-violence.
At the end of this issue Syd appears to have embraced the group’s ethics, not to mention the lifestyle but as she’s left with another of the group, Blurgirl, to tidy up, she’s stopped from finding something out by another of the group, Misery Kid.
On the face of this issue it’s a pretty straightforward plot of ‘new super powered person learns their powers and abilities’ that’s been round the superhero genre more times than we’ve all had hot dinners, but there’s something else under all this. It’s the casual violence, the dubious morality and the belief in one’s own superiority coming from the group that marks them all out as pretty unlikable people but that’s the point. See, when you’re young you can be an arsehole that thinks they’re superior due to a supposed moral superiority to what you see as ‘ordinary people’. That’s the point of the title; they’re not like us isn’t just because they’ve got abilities, but because their mindset is different from the rest of us.
The problem is that after three issues it feels like the story could have been told so far in two issues. There’s an awful lot of padding in what should be a faster paced story, however by the end of this issue it feels like Stephenson is picking up the pace as he’s ensured the entry character, Syd, is where he wants her to be. Next issue let’s see where it goes.