We Are the Danger (#1-5)
Writer: Fabian Lelay
Artist: Fabian Lelay
Colorist: Claudia Aguirre
Letterers: Taylor Esposito & Jay Castro
Publisher: Black Mask
We Are the Danger came came to a conclusion this week after nearly a year of waiting for the final issue — but luckily, the wait was worth it. Created, written, and illustrated by Fabian Lelay, the series follows misfits Julie, Tabitha, Scooter, Asha, Simon, and Dee Dee as they form the series’ eponymous band and go head-to-head with Logan Ingram and Lipservice, Tabi’s ex-friend and ex-band.
As the band catapults toward stardom through a Battle of the Bands competition that could land them a highly-coveted record deal, Julie and Simon slowly fall in love; Tabitha and Dee Dee pile on the PDA; and Logan deals with some of her trauma, albeit not in a particularly healthy or productive way. Issue #5, which completes the story arc, demonstrates how drastically different these characters are when it comes to dealing with major blows. Although the dialogue sometimes slips into clunky territory, the overall pacing of the series is maintained until the very end, and the final panels feel satisfying — even as they leave plenty of space for a spin-off or sequel series.
Scott Pilgrim, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Kim & Kim fans will be especially drawn to We Are the Danger, which showcases some of the best up-and-coming talent in comics through the lens of music, friendship, and serious teen drama. Lelay’s own passion for music and gig culture shines through the characters, especially Julie; Claudia Aguirre‘s vibrant colors make every panel pop, but especially scenes where the characters are performing for an audience.
Another unique element in this series is the layout. Lelay plays with musical formats — like mixtapes complete with tracklistings — to drive home narrative themes, but rather than feeling overdone or too pointed, these pages feel fresh and interesting. Props are also due for letter Taylor Esposito and lettering assistant Jay Castro, who capture the drama and intensity of the story while also leaning some of its more over-the-top and absurd moments. This book would surely flop without such deft letter handling, given that it relies so heavily on music, lyrics, and rapidfire dialogue; luckily, this team absolutely kills it on every page.
Long story short: We Are the Danger is an excellent ride from start to finish. You can purchase issues #1-5 on the Black Mask Studios webstore, or digitally through ComiXology. The trade paperback release date is still TBA. For updates on this and other series from the publisher, Black Mask Studios webstore.