Love and Rockets has been one of the best comics of the last 35 years. There’s no arguing about that as the punk sensibilities of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez show no signs of ever fading as we start volume four of their comic that’s stood head and shoulders above most others for decades.
Unlike most mainstream comics the characters of the Hernandez Brothers age at a more or less normal rate, so Maggie, Hopey and the gang aren’t young punks but hitting middle age still doing things like going to punk gigs.
Having been in the situation of approaching middle age and still going to punk gigs to be surrounded by people young enough to be your grandchildren, there’s a lot to identify with in Jaime’s work in this first issue.
As for Gilbert his story of Fritz, the ageing actress continues. which itself grew out of his Heartbreak Soup stories.
If you’ve not followed this story (and it’s a story that tracks back decades) it isn’t hard to feel lost here, but Gilbert’s been telling what is essentially one massive story of the people of Palomar, a small village just over the American border in Mexico.
There is a recap of sorts, which fills in some of the background but this is just another chapter in a very long story, so may well not be as easily accessible as Jaime’s work.
That said, it should be easy enough to pick up the basics of what’s going on as long as you put the work into it, but it may well be an idea to go back from this issue to pick up collected editions. Anyhow, you’ll end up with some splendid comics.
Rounding out the issue is one of Jamie’s surreal science fiction stories.
All in all it is great to have Love and Rockets back telling the stories we’ve been following for so long but I’m unable to not praise a comic that for years I’ve fawningly thought is the best out there because it is. There’s nothing else to match this.