By Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill, Nic J Shaw
Spencer takes us on a down and dirty trip to the dark parts of Hollywood and stardom.
Spencer opens the story with a smart and timely critique of how Hollywood cultivates and abuses young starlets by marketing their burgeoning sexuality. It’s something we’ve seen over and over and over and over, to disturbing results. Brittany Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Miley Cyrus, all of them fall under this trend. It’s not an overt theme in the plot, but it is a nice way to open the issue and discuss the ramifications within the context of the character of Elainia.
Roy has done a lot of bad things to become Elainia’s police escort and finally gets a job that may be too dirty for even him. Elainia proves to be a deeply damaged woman whose fame has given to alcohol and drug habits, as well as a toxic way of interacting with people to maintain her celebrity. None of that deters Roy’s interest in tangentially experiencing the high life, but Elainia’s behavior does cause him pause on several occasions. The issue ends with Roy’s morals tested and his resolve as a cop pushed to the limit.
On art, Lieber and Hill present a view of Hollywood that reads as a bad acid trip. It’s an appropriate take for an industry filled with exploited youth and poor decisions. Lieber maintains his trademark cartooning and humorous storytelling, but the real standout in this issue is Ryan Hill’s colors. Hill uses mainly cool colors to convey the California night and boardwalk partying. The pages are filled with oranges, blues, and purples, making this issue visually distinct. Both work together to illustrate a traumatic tale of a young starlet whose career is slowly dying and the conniving sleeze who wants a taste of the high life.
Surprisingly, this is the most personal story yet for Spencer and Lieber’s new series but also it’s best. It maintains the comedic tone while also acting as brilliant satire and a look at the toll young starlets go through in their careers. The introduction of damaged but intriguing female character to the cast also has me excited for the next issue of what is becoming one of my favorite new series.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent