Written by Bryant Thomas
and Frank Miller
on Thursday, August 28 2014 and posted in Reviews
Sundowners is your prescription for a refreshing superhero tale.
I think we can all agree that a lot of superheroes can be diagnosed with some intense psychological disorders. They deliberately jump into life-threatening escapades and just do BAT-shit crazy things. All the while saying clever puns and cool, bad ass one-liners. This actually sounds fantastic but here comes Tim Seeley, with Jim Terry and Sean Dove, ruining all the fun by presenting superhero psychosis in a very well-written yet unflattering light. I want a costume. I want grapples. I WANT A MASK!...No capes though...
We all know why...
The story revolves around a group of superheroes ('super' being used incredibly loosely here) who are part of a support group to address their Sundown Syndrome. They all do seem a little crazy and have some bizarre powersets, my favorite being Arcanika. Her powers consists of performing sins to be granted the power of the chosen; thefts, lying, petty things. But these things aren't strong enough to be truly 'super'. So Seeley provides a pretty interesting dimension to her, maybe she has to do something extremely bad to do something extremely good. I hate playing favorites, every character in here is written very well and as someone that appreciates great dialogue, every character was enjoyable to read about.
Jim Terry and Sean Dove provide a classic-retro aesthetic to a very modern take on superheroes. The teals, pinks and yellows remind me of many scenes from books from the 80's. Maybe this was all intended. With the story having a They Live-vibe to it, I could very much see this aesthetic being 100% intentional. Terry provides some very compelling character moments, showing a wide-range of emotions in the characters' facial expressions. However, one character does have an expressionless mask on...
Similarly to C.O.W.L, Sundowners addresses a realistic take on superheroes but with a very comic book-y conflict. But the kick is that there is a possibility and mystery that, despite these superheroes appearing to be psychotic...there may be some truth to their madness. What elevates this debut is that, regardless of it being pure setup, every character is interesting and has a unique voice. I think a lot of writing nowadays forget to do that for their characters and it makes dialogue-heavy issues very bland to read. Sundowners completely avoids this problem.
Tim Seeley has become one of my favorite writers. Revival is always at the top of my 'must-read list' and I think his greatest strength is his character work. These characters coupled with some fantastic art by Jim Terry and Sean Dove, have made this a very strong debut. I won't say that I am hooked, but I am definitely looking forward to issue two to provide some more bizarre clues to this equally bizarre story.
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About the Author - Bryant Thomas
Bryant Thomas is far too over attached to his dog, Dexter. He talks to him. Confesses to him. But most of all, he reads comics to him. When Bryant isn't working for the energy industry, helping companies figure out what to buy to make them profitable, he reaches for a new trade or drools over all of the insane JH Williams art in Batwoman's early issues. Growing up in Texas has given Bryant a very complex palate to BBQ Sauces, ranch dressing, and the occasional whiskey. His free-time is filled with panels and panels, and even more panels as he writes reviews for the wonderful institution that is, The Outhouse.
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