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The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem #1
Dark Horse Comics

Comic Books

‘The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem’ #1 review

The Fabulous Killjoys, once a group of teenage exterminators determined to save reality, have lost their way—and their memories.

It’s been ten years since the debut of My Chemical Romance’s fourth studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, and to celebrate, band members Gerard Way and Shaun Simon come back to the team with their origin story. Three years after the album came a comic book miniseries penned by the writing duo of Way and Simon that focused on the followers of the initial Killjoys as they continued to wage a fight against the megacorporation Better Living Industries.  This origin story brings back letterer Nate Piekos, as colorist Jordie Bellaire and artist Leonardo Romero join the miniseries.

Setting itself up after the Analog Wars, the Killjoys become lost in their ideology, their own memories being forgotten. But when Mike Milligram’s TV cord is chewed out by a rat, the unwinding of his respective reality occurs. The inception of his memories is returned through the disappearance of his Ramones record — this reemergence of memories and his abilities bring back the fortified purpose of the Killjoys, alongside discussing what their ray-guns are capable of. This entire miniseries acts as a return to the original concept and allows for a reboot/prequel within modern-day America. 

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Artist Leonardo Romero does a wonderful job of rendering the Killjoys in a punk rock aesthetic. Each line has such a wonderful vibrancy and nuance that captures the meditation of punk in motion. At its heart, it properly enlightens readers about the purpose of the Killjoys: anti-capitalism. The overall point is to display how people are not just disaffected but inspire them to push against societal restrictions. The first half of the issue really brings about a Mad Max aesthetic in how he homages the films. 

Colorist Jordie Bellaire brings about a wonderful bubblegum acid aesthetic reminiscent of the counterculture visuals of the 1950s, allowing for these in-depth textured pages full of the imperfections found in old comic books. Bringing a compact narration and voice is Nate Piekos, who gives further flair to this book.

While this book is a fun and poppy debut of a miniseries, it feels more pastiche than anything. It is a great insight into how our culture has become almost paralyzed in our imaginations, while there is this new form of revolution in our air. Way and Simon do a masterful job of showing us that the revolution will not be televised. 

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem #1
‘The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem’ #1 review
The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem #1
While this book is a fun and poppy debut of a miniseries, it feels more pastiche than anything. It is a great insight into how our culture has become almost paralyzed in our imaginations, while there is this new form of revolution in our air. Way and Simon do a masterful job of showing us that the revolution will not be televised. 
Reader Rating2 Votes
9.1
Brilliant writing from the duo of Way and Simon
Great artwork done by Leonardo Romero
Gorgeous colors by Jordie Bellarie
Stitched lettering done by Nate Piekos
Feels a little too pastiche for it to be original
A little too spectacle at certain times
9.5
Great

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