It may not be 100% obvious what this new series is about, but the synopsis explains just how cool this premise is:
THROWAWAY (n.) 1. A disposable asset, used for a single mission; 2. A disavowed assassin, meant to die alongside their target. Abby Palmer and Dean Logan are two broken people—Abby a vet with severe PTSD and Dean a burnout trying to escape the shadow of his infamous father—when they are thrust into a modern-day MK-ULTRA conspiracy… and discover they are both ULTRA’s human experiments.
Is it good?
Throwaways #1 (Image Comics)
Why does this book matter?
Writer Caitlin Kittredge is a young adult novelist and writer of the comic Coffin Hill over at Vertigo Comics. Artist Steven Sanders has worked on X-Men comics and other titles at Marvel. Combining their talents with an espionage-type tale equals creator-owned goodness in my book!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I kind of love how the circle is connected to the next panel to show us inside the pocket.
This issue opens with protaganist Dean Logan just about ready to go into fight or flight mode. People are shooting at him and a woman he just met and he doesn’t know why. Then he sends glass into the enemies seemingly by using his mind. Okay…what is going on?! Kittredge then cuts to four hours earlier and that’s when s--t really hits the fan. As the story progresses it never really lets up and with some inventive layouts scattered throughout, the comic does just about everything right.
The characters are written with strong dialogue, expressive faces that are easy to understand, and they’re all good people who are victims or forced to do bad things. Or both. The script cuts between Dean, a loser type whose father randomly killed FBI agents when he was a kid; and Abbey, an expat who has seen some s--t. As we slowly gather information about them they are forced to survive as bullets fly and people want them dead all because of a mysterious camp. Along the way we meet girlfriends, soldier buddies, and killer SWAT teams.
The art is solid, with a cel-shaded line that at times reminded me of Mike Allred’s work. Sanders draws some inventive layouts too, which either help convey the chaos of a moment, or the length of time. In the latter layout for instance, we see a character in a private chat. In seven wide panels we see the character typing away focused on the screen while characters around them move and go about their day. It helps solidify this chat is incredibly important and deadly serious. In another inspired layout we are witness to murders, and on the left side of the page are panels of a handgun with the trigger being pulled. In the center are the reactions of the victims in extreme closeup (as if they’re not people but disembodied parts). On the right we there are bullet shells adding up from two all the way to six. Combined you get a sense of the brutality, the lives lost, and the ease at which each bullet can kill. It’s an amazing page and one that will resonate with people.
It can’t be perfect can it?
There will be people who cry foul and say the premise of this series is been there done that. Secret government testing facilities, victims being tested on, and super powers developed. That said, the art and pace of the story feel original enough that even if the basic premise is cliched (and it’s way too early to even say that at this point anyway) it’s so well told it’s worth reading.
Body language is everything.
Is It Good?
I had absolutely no expectations for this series, but it quickly and assuredly swept me off my feet. It’s good storytelling via art, character, and pacing and should be at the top of your pull list this week.
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