Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Graphic Novel/Comic Book Week - Review of They're Not Like Us Vol.1: Black Holes for the Young

They're Not Like Us Vol.1: Black Holes for the Young by Eric Stephenson (Simon Gane and Jordie Bellaire)
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: July 8th 2015
My Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads

Eisner-nominated NOWHERE MEN writer ERIC STEPHENSON teams up with red-hot artist SIMON GANE for an all-new ongoing series! We all have advantages over one another, but what if you were capable of things most of us can only imagine? What would you do – and who would you be? A doctor? An athlete? A soldier? A hero? Everyone has to make a choice about how to use the abilities they're born with... but they're not like us.

Collects THEY'RE NOT LIKE US #1-6.
(from Goodreads)

While They’re Not Like Us was a little overdramatic for me (I’m getting even more cynical in my old age), it was an all right read. Nothing fantastic, but I didn’t hate it the way I hated The Wicked + the Divine (I won’t get started on that again, because oh how I could rant on about that trainwreck).

I wasn’t a huge fan of the art style to begin with, the lines and things were a bit messy and rough and I usually prefer everything to be neater and more defined. But it grew on me after a while, and I think it did suit the tone of the book. I liked the colouring too, and I think the facial expressions were done pretty well overall (though I was not a huge fan of the way crying was expressed, it looked a bit weird in my opinion, but then again, what do I know about art…)

The main character, Syd, was generally okay, and I liked how she wasn’t immediately accepting of all this new information that was thrown at her. She’d had a hard life but that didn’t mean she was willing to follow the rules of this new life being offered to her without questioning it. I did think it was a bit weird that so many other people in the group were so accepting when they originally joined (especially in regard to the “you have to kill your parents thing” - I mean, did they all have such terrible parents that they didn’t give much thought to it? It seemed a bit unrealistic to me). What did bother me about Syd, however, was the way she seemed to miraculously grasp being able to control her power which had previously affected her so much that it drove her to attempt suicide. Like there was this one page where she was suffering so much, and then magically in the next page she had managed to control the voices she heard and was fine. What happened? How did she manage it? It confused me a little. I did wonder whether I had skipped a page by accident.

Plot-wise, I liked the fact that Syd was helped by these people who were not heroes. They could be very cruel in taking what they wanted, and it was interesting to see these powers being used simply for selfish reasons, because the people wielding them just felt like they deserved to have whatever they wanted. The Voice was a fairly interesting character, especially after seeing his backstory - though nothing could really justify the sorts of things he did. However, I did feel like it was all a bit over the top at times. The whole “we can do anything we want mwahaha/fate has chosen us to be different” mentality got a bit too much at points, it felt a little childish. And not much else really happened. Syd just sort of stayed there being really indecisive because the whole thing was dragged out a little for the drama. I mean, really, it’s not that difficult to decide that whether or not you want to commit murder (I know she had a lot of other things to consider too, but that probably would have been the main thing on my mind).

Overall, They’re Not Like Us was okay. I didn’t love it, but it’s probably worth a read if you like stories about superpowers. I’d describe it as a more angsty and trying too hard to be deep version of X-Men.

(Also, in case you’re wondering why I’ve become one of those people who just complains about everything - reviews which are more positive are coming, I promise.)

1 comment:

  1. Yeah , sounds like this one is trying too hard to be like X-Men. A bit disappointing. Sorry it was unbelievable. I've read several books that just aren't believable enough for me.

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