MARILYN MANOR #1 Review: Rebellious First Daughter + 80s Vibes + Ghosts?

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Written by Magdalene Visaggio – Art & Cover by Marley Zarcone – Cover Color by Tamra Bonvillain – Colored by Irma Kniivila – Lettered by Jane Heir – Logo Design by Tim Daniel – Assistant Edited by Megan Brown – Edited by Shelly Bond

Thanks to IDW Publishing for providing a copy of Marilyn Manor #1 for review!

Synopsis: Where were you in ’81? When the White House goes dark for 17 days in August, the president’s spoiled daughter and her best friend Abe—who claims to be possessed by the spirit of Abe Lincoln—throw a rager at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, unearthing long dead historical figures and government secrets that are better off buried. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll séances, and secret passageways lead to time-bending mystical romps where past and present collide. But at what cost to Marilyn Kelleher, the world at large, and music television? Uniting the red-hot Eisner-nominated talents of writer Magdalene Visaggio (Eternity Girl, Kim and Kim) and artist Marley Zarcone (Shade, the Changing Girl; Effigy) for the first time, MARILYN MANOR explores identity, classism, appropriation, and friendship. It’s a rollicking, neon party gone out of bounds when we need it most—set just in time for the greatest pop cultural marriage to date: MTV. 

Review

After reading some of Visaggio’s previous titles, I was really excited to dig into another of her stories. I also saw promos for Marilyn Manor while reading Eve Stranger, so I was intrigued.

Issue #1 opens with Marilyn doing something a lot of people have probably imagined doing, throwing a huge party in the White House. While her father, aka The President, is away she decides to throw caution to the winds and invite everyone she can to a complete rager.

It seems apparent that Marilyn harbors a great deal of resentment toward her situation. Although she was once supportive of her father, and happy to be in the spotlight she seems to hate it as a teen. I can’t say I blame her! It’s hard to imagine a life where you’re every move is controlled and strictly regimented, especially at Marilyn’s age.

Helping Marilyn thwart the instruction of her Secret Service detail is her friend Abe, formerly Janice. Abe is quite close to Marilyn and more than willing to aid and abet her party shenanigans. Unfortunately it seems that Abe may be more invested in Marilyn than Marilyn is in Abe.

My description of this tale of teen angst is fairly tame so far, but throughout the first issue there is an undercurrent of the paranormal. Dead Presidents make themselves known through Spirit Board sessions, mysterious pathways reveal themselves, and the White House itself may be a supernatural beacon of sorts. I’m very interesting to see how everything connects, and what effect Marilyn’s big raucous party will have on the spirits around her.

This is a familiar feeling story with some great new twists in the mix. If you are already a fan of Visaggio I defintiely recomment adding it to your reading list, and if you haven’t read her books yet there’s no reason not to start with this one! Marilyn Manor #1 is available now!

If you’ve read this title, I would love to hear from you on Twitter or Instagram!

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