We’re halfway through this mini-series now, and things are really heating up. So far, the dystopian future here has seemed like a confused mish-mash of too many ideas that don’t make sense, and that’s still kind of true, because, well, it’s a world that was invented for a rock album, and music isn’t really the best vehicle for detailed storytelling. So whilst the world is vague and kind of silly, Gerard Way and Shaun Simon are now really zeroed in on the characters here, and I’m starting to get invested in them.
The most powerful scenes in this issue involved the ‘Pornodroids’ Blue and Red, and their tragic relationship as they try and escape from Battery City and the evil BLI corporation. You can tell this story is not going to have a happy ending, but the emotions are ringing true, and I’m feeling a surprising amount of sympathy for robot prostitutes. The role of Korse (AKA Grant Morrison) in this story is also very interesting. In the original My Chemical Romance music videos, he was a real villain, but in the comic, he’s been given a lot of depth, despite saying very few words. I’m finding all the scenes set in Battery City to be fascinating, and the totalitarian regime they have there is getting more and more scary.
The stuff out in the desert is less gripping at this point, perhaps because the characters are less immediately gripping. I barely know any of their names, and if I’m supposed to be worried about this Val kid… I’m not. I did like the conversations between Cherri Cola and Doctor D, and the scene where Cola shows the Girl how to shoot was awesome, but it all seems a bit too aimless. That said, the artwork from Cloonan shines brightest in these segments, and Way and Simon keep throwing up awesome concepts and visuals for her to draw, like a weird skinless dude who’s addicted to sunbathing in radioactive rays, or the fact that to get fresh water, you have to travel to a vending in the middle of nowhere.
This is a comic you can really tell was written by a musician, as a whole, it doesn’t quite work, but there are individual moments, individual lines of dialogue that shine, that have a real (ugh) lyrical quality, and make this well worth reading. Plus, you know, Cloonan art, Cloonan is the best.