THE SEQUELS #1 Written by Norm Harper, Art by Val Halvorson & Bobby Timony
Synopsis: Remember the ‘80s? Avery, Gwen, Russell, and Dakota will never forget. As children, they each experienced unique adventures . . . saving the life of a sentient robot, partying with an intergalactic alien, battling the likes of vampires and werewolves, and defeating a nightmarish monster to protect imagination itself. Now, 30 years later, they’re directionless adults, still obsessed with their pasts. When a mysterious figure brings the group together to cope with their experiences, will they be prepared to live out the “sequels” to their childhood adventures?
A copy of The Sequels #1 was provided by Fanbase Press for review.
If you have ever fallen in love with a classic piece of 80s science fiction, you need to add The Sequels to your reading list immediately. I went in with zero expectations and instantly fell for Avery, the main character of Issue #1. His tale is similar to the plot of the 80s classic film, Short Circuit with just a dash of E.T. for good measure. The real plot of The Sequels comes after Avery’s experience with his robot pal, Ollie. As the title implies, this is a story about the heroes of those 80s classics getting a second chance to encounter their past. Considering who Avery’s compatriots turn out to be (read to find out!), I have my doubts about this turning out well for all involved.
There were so many things I enjoyed about this issue. In just 25 pages, I had a visual and emotional journey that I rarely find in a single instalment of a comic series. The artists do an amazing job of harkening back to an 80s color palette, and then transition to a more modern aesthetic without missing a beat. It set the tone for the entire story from page 1. It becomes apparent very quickly that themes of mental health, self-esteem, and existentialism lie at the heart of this story. Issue #1 dips a toe into these, and I can’t wait to see those themes develop.
Reading this comic brought one of my favorite series of prose novels to mind. The Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire (currently writing SPIDER-GWEN for Marvel) attacks some of the same ideas. In that series, a cast of characters with fantastical experiences in their pasts need to try to fit into the modern world. Some of them try to fight their way back to those fantasy worlds, and some of them just fight to stay alive in our world. If you are already a fan of The Wayward Children books, I highly recommend picking up The Sequels when it hits comiXology on February 20th.