The preview for this comic talks of a ’27 Club,’ where rockers like Cobain, Joplin, Hendrix, and Morrison all reached that age and then died. It’s a very cool initial pitch that had me intrigued. Sadly, this comic then seemingly ignores this concept completely. The lead character is indeed the right age, it’s his birthday in fact, but he’s suffering from neurological disorder affecting his hand. Unless all those in the ’27 Club’ got this problem I don’t exactly see how it all ties together. I am also annoyed that this comic was solicited as being $3.50 and turned out to be $3.99.
Will Garland just wants to be able to play his guitar again. This set up is simple enough that we can believe he will go to any length to make this happen. It’s then a shame that Will hops in a strange man’s machine, naked, and stares at the caged cats but doesn’t justify why. The experiment sequence takes up a lot of time but is not completely explained. It would have been just as effective to skip over it, or start the comic at the experiment’s fatal end. What we get is confusing and not satisfying.
There is anguish and desperation exhibited on these pages, and quite effectively so, but the resulting aftermath is glibly glossed over. Garland survives the experiment and, while moderately successful, it leaves him with a weird metal plate somehow lodged in his chest. Within that plate is a button that grants Garland with a finite period of genius talent. This premise is crazy, and very inventive, but the character barely reacts. He shrugs it off and settles in. If he doesn’t react to it, then I feel no need to either.
The solution isn’t perfect and we discover that it’s gaining Garland the attention of some spooky dead people. I assume they’re part of this ’27 Club’ hinted at, but nothing is clear at this stage. It’s a cliffhanger, of sorts, but I’m not really sure I care enough. Too much of the story is left undefined and that doesn’t bode well for any more of this series.
Podesta presents some interesting art here. He’s quirky and cartoony with a lot of his lines and it makes the comic feel more light than it probably should. The tone works most effectively when Podesta stretches his legs into the more bizarre and almost macabre areas of this concept. While drawing talking heads, the pages feel a little flat.
This comic is a major letdown. A premise that felt interesting but ultimately was just a cheap pick up line to get us through the doors but not to keep us in the seats. There’s a possibility more of this may be addressed in the next issue, but this intro doesn’t give enough to make me want to be there when that happens. Though, I don’t know when that time will be because the back ad proclaims the second issue is available on the same day this debut was released. Just a shambles of a comic that doesn’t feel well presented or thought out.