With a title like “Punks Not Dead,” one can get fired up. Those who love punk will scream, “Hell yeah” while comic readers will think, “Sounds interesting.” And it is and while it requires you enjoy a little pizazz in your comic art it also requires you like sci-fi sorts of stories that may involve the ghost of a dead punk rocker. It also contains an interesting paranormal agency out of the UK that gets a proper backstory this week.
So what’s it about?
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Why does this matter?
This issue focuses on the old lady who runs the paranormal agency. She’s been a fascinating woman with a firecracker personality so it makes sense we’d find out how she got into the paranormal business. This issue is also set in the 70s which suits Martin Simmonds’ art style.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The first 18 or so pages are devoted to a flashback of Dorothy Culpepper complete with color dots to convey the old school style of the ’60s. Simmonds outdoes himself with this issue with some rather eclectic layout styles and full page splashes. Truth be told I actually prefer the color style in these flashback scenes which have an old school look, but also one that feels more genuine. There is a wicked double page splash that shows off ’60s London that helps convey the swinging era and it has a retro style some might equate to Austen Powers. There is also a mix of art styles like a page that looks like a tourism poster for Spain, a double page layout devoid of color in a trippy way and a sex scene that helps convey the power of Dorothy. These scenes help portray Dorothy as a superhero of sorts and they’re just delightful.
The rest of the book pushes the plot forward ever so slightly but it’s quite clear this issue does a lot to help prove the paranormal elements in London have existed for awhile and require a bad bitch like Dorothy to quell them. I’ve said this from the very beginning, but I’ve been much more compelled by Dorothy and her agency than the main characters. That said, the title may be punk, but this issue is a great example of how this book is very good at embodying a culture and the people within it.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Most of this is a flashback issue so don’t expect big leaps in the plot progress. At this point, the main story does such a good job proving Dorothy is the best character in the book I almost want to abandon Sid and his super powered teenage compatriot.
Is it good?
This issue is a good example of how a comic can be transportive. The main story plays second fiddle to an excellent flashback sequence that’s the epitome of what makes comics great. This is the real deal and a book comic fanatics shouldn’t miss.