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'Survival Street' #1 offers a great mix of the absurd and satire
Dark Horse

Comic Books

‘Survival Street’ #1 offers a great mix of the absurd and satire

‘Survival Street’ #1 invokes Sesame Street for social commentary.

If the first page of Survival Street doesn’t grab you, especially during these trying times in America, I don’t know what will. The new series from Dark Horse Comics is satire, but like the best satire, it hits very close to home. James Asmus and Jim Festante write a story with artist Abylay Kussainov that takes a rather serious subject and casts Muppets as its main characters. Once you put this first issue down, you’ll see it’s a good blend of the believable with the absurd.

Or, as Asmus said in his interview with AIPT, “it helps the comedy if you can dial up the absurdity of the issue, without losing the actual idea(s) or principles you’re tackling.” The opening page details how America went from the familiar setup in 2025 to corporations running everything by 2028. It’s a dark and believable eventuality considering corporations can buy politicians as it is, creating a haunting feel at the start.

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Smash cut to Salutation Street, where we see Sesame Street-style Muppets having a good time. They’re decommissioned by men in SWAT gear, and things look bleak. Smash cut to 2031, and things are even worse. Interlaid across a desert on the border of Florida, billboards show absurd products and services for sale. Throughout the issue, there’s good political and social commentary.

Survival Street

Shut it down!
Credit: Dark Horse

We soon learn the Muppets that were once filming children’s programming are on a mission. It involves taking out the president who is selling kids to the highest bidder, among other terrible things. Through this mission, we get to know some of the good Muppets and a rival Muppet who has sold out to the corporations. A few Muppets seem to be familiar nods to famous Muppets like Oscar the Grouch, further connecting this story to our world. The creative team does well to keep the action moving while we meet each personality.

Kussainov’s art certainly has an indie feel with a looser style, but the blocking in scenes is on point. Close-ups at opportune times put you into the head of these characters, for instance. Colors by Ellie Wright are certainly subdued, especially for a comic with Muppets in it. That gives it a grittier feel. The art can sometimes feel too close up, though, with a scene or two needing establishing shots to understand where the characters are in the space.

Taylor Esposito’s letters do a lot of heavy lifting, especially in some scenes where word balloons nearly take over entire panels. That’s a detriment to the flow of the story and visuals, but Esposito keeps your eye moving in the right direction. There’s a tricky scene later in the issue with two characters talking, one in the front seat of a limo and the other in the back. The word balloons are placed well to not inhibit the characters.

Survival Street opens with a great premise and an absurd cast of characters. It’s hard to resist how well the two blend together, although the dialogue can sometimes inhibit the flow of a scene. That said, Survival Street offers good satire you rarely get these days.

'Survival Street' #1 offers a great mix of the absurd and satire
‘Survival Street’ #1 offers a great mix of the absurd and satire
Survival Street #1
Survival Street opens with a great premise and an absurd cast of characters. It's hard to resist how well the two blend together, although the dialogue can sometimes inhibit the flow of a scene. That said, Survival Street offers good satire you rarely get these days.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Fantastic premise with great satire throughout
Economically introduces characters and who they are via action
The absurdity of Muppets running around works well with the themes
The art can feel too up close at times, making it hard to track what is going on
Dialogue can get pretty heavy, covering up art
7
Good
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