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Thursday, February 29, 2024

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PUBLIC DOMAIN #1 review – Red Carpet Blues (Zdarsky, O’Toole) – Image Comics

Thanks to Image Comics for the review copy!

Public Domain is a fictionalized story that examines the all too common situation where a comic company reaps all the benefits of a creator’s characters. The main character Miles is a journalist whose dad is one half of the creative team behind Domain, a character now making millions on the big screen.    

While the comic in question is a superhero story, this is a grounded book (the only superheroes are shown in glimpses of the movie). The story evokes Siegel and Shuster’s situation with Superman as well as Marvel (er’ Disney) making millions off of its ‘cinematic universe’ while the creators make very little. Despite it all, Miles’ dad gives off a very Stan Lee positivity vibe that makes him a much more likable character than Miles or his flaky brother. The family relationship seems a bit off (it would take a lot for me to skip a family member walking on the red carpet for a movie), but it is hinted that being the sons of a comic writer caused some strain. The first issue does a good job establishing the characters and the trajectory for the story.

The art feels almost cell-shaded, with heavy lines and deep colors. Impressively, the characters are easy to tell apart despite the style having less fine detail. The art also excellently conveys facial expressions, which is essential in a book like this that relies on dialogue more than action.

If you are looking for the next big superhero comic, Public Domain isn’t for you. But if you want a smart, topical take on the comic/movie industry with some interesting family dynamics, this title is most definitely is worth a read. 

Public Domain #1 is set to be released on June 29th, 2022.

Are you going pick up the comic? Feel free to leave a comment below or chat with us on Twitter at @TheConCollectve!

We’re always looking for new writers that are truly passionate about stuff – we give you the review materials, the platform and the support to say what you feel from the heart. If you’d like to write opinion pieces about pop culture topics or reviews, reach out to us using the contact us form.

Darren Shulman
Darren Shulman
Darren is a professional lawyer and amateur movie/comic/TV reviewer who is lucky enough to have found a wife who is into the same geeky things he is. Darren has been making the trip from Ohio to San Diego Comic-Con since 2009. Other interests include, in no particular order: monkeys, LEGO, dinosaurs, and playing basketball poorly.

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