Imagine a zombie film but replace all the zombies with nude beautiful women who are all identical. Make it more like invasion of the body snatchers and less like Benny Hill and you have the wonderfully simple yet unique and intriguing premise for this series.
The setting is a small American town, population 95, in the middle of nowhere. It is populated by a diverse group of people who, for the most part, enjoy the quiet, simple life. We follow Ethan, a twenty-something middle of the road guy, who has made this quaint town his home. One night he finds a naked woman on the highway and takes her home. In the morning more identical naked women have appeared. And then they start to kill…
This is a great idea and it is so different it hooks you in as you want to know where they came from, what they want and what they can do. The tone of the books is like one of the great 50’s B movies or a Stephen King novel. There are a lot of characters in the town but you get a sense that they all have a history and a fully fleshed out back-story. It is fun piecing together the clues as to who these people are and the complex relationships they have with each other. This is an exceptionally well written and well paced work. The characters all behave as they would – and probably as you would – when confronted with unusual events.
Like Y the Last Man this deals with men and women and their differences. You are waiting for some grand statement or preaching but nothing like that arrives. You just get enough thought provoking story to make you think.
The art is excellent. Full colour realistic drawing but with a minimum amount of detail. The drawing (or more probably inking) is computer assisted leading to some lovely gradients and shading giving a great sense of smooth, flowing, organic shapes in people’s faces and bodies. The frames have also been digitally altered to give the illusion of focus and depth of field giving it a more cinematic feel. This does add more depth to the storytelling and is very good for the “show, don’t tell” rule of comics but it can be jarring. Having a speaking character out of focus is a bold directorial choice but can kick you out of the moment and remind you that you are reading something artificial. At the start of each chapter/ issue is a map of the town and as things happen additional material gets added. This is a neat little touch both to help you get a grip of the town’s layout and who lives where and also to capture that claustrophobic town under siege feeling.
Overall this is such a fresh and rewarding work you can’t help but want more. The ending is such a cliff-hanger, and a truly unexpected one at that, you will definitely be hooked. Nothing less than a Double Thumbs Up!
Tomorrow: Girls Volume 2: Emergence – Luna Brothers