Story : Jeff Lemire
Art: Emi Lenox, Jeff Lemire (Back Up)
Colors: Jordan Bellaire
Publisher: Image Comics
Few comics will make you feel as welcomed to the medium as Plutona by Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox. It takes a down to earth story about the real struggles of youth and infects the drama with super heroes to create the beginning of a tale that’s not to be forgotten anytime soon.
Plutona’s story blends the small town feel of Lemire’s books like Sweet Tooth with elements of awe from his latest works. The book’s cast is a group of early teen kids, who as relatable as they come off on the page, don’t fit any cliche models. Their lives are filled with the awkwardness all kids go through growing up. Yet their world is one of unbelievable beings who battle the war of good vs evil. It’s a bit of a commentary on our celebrity pedestal society. What if kids worshiped real life super heroes like they do Kardashians or Zendaya ( I’m told that’s a thing). By the end of this first issue readers understand the gravity of just how much these kids lives will change with the brutal discovery they make in the woods.
A world of super hero tales can often look intimidating to new comics curious. As grand as the world of Plutona is meant to feel, it’s made welcoming and easily digestible by the incredible art of Emi Lenox. Plutona is one of the most emotional books you’ll read this year and the entire story can be conveyed simply by looking at it. No words necessary. Lemire really does a spot on job of getting out of the way of his artist and letting us be taken in by the visual beats Lenox renders to perfection. Also not to be overlooked is the color work of Jordie Bellaire. Though Plutona might work as a black-and-white comic, it’s the color pop that gives it a charming vibe throughout the pages. The moment where the kids make their life changing discovery is amplified dramatically by the clash of tone those last panels. It’s impactful story coloring 101 yet most books don’t understand how to use this aspect as a tool. Even Lemire gets in on the art with a short back up story that tells the final days of the heroine called Plutona.
I read lots of articles and opinions by people in and around comics who “crave” diversity, things that aren’t the same old capes-and-tights comics; then when something does come along that does super heroes differently it’s passed over. Plutona is that different thing in the industry THAT should NOT be missed. Typically (except for Giant Days) stories about kids or teens make my figurative ovaries cringe. I know there’s an audience for them, it’s just not me. Plutona is the exception to every intuition I have about teenage angst filled stories and should definitely be something you read and give to people who don’t read comics.