Major Spoilers has covered most of this year’s breakout independently published hits. Titles such as Morning Glories, Skullkickers and now 27 all share several commonalities. All 3 books are published by Image Comics, for starters. The most intriguing link between all 3 ongoing titles is that they’ve completely sold out on the distributor level prior to even arriving in your LCS. Now the real question: is 27 any good? Take the jump to find out!

27 #1
Written by: Charles Soule
Art by: Renzo Podesta
Letters by: Sawn Pepasquale
Covers by: W. Scott Forbes
Publisher: Shadowline via Image Comics

Shred No More

Will Garland, lead guitarist virtuoso for The Fizz was playing in front of 20,000 fans in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. 1 year later he’s roaming decrepit alleyways, desperate to find a cure for a degenerative condition that has made his left hand unusable. Having already exhausted traditional medical science methodology, Garland is not taking no for an answer.

As it turns out, the experiment (more of an incantation) that finally grants Garland the use of his hand occurs on his 27th birthday. Numerology is a central theme for the book, virtually thumping the reader on their nose with its overt numeric references. From the art to the story itself, subtlety does not appear to be a primary component of 27’s storytelling methodology. Much like rock music itself, the panels are loud, the character action is amplified, and the entire cocktail is mixed with a shot of arcane shamanism.

Combine Sequential Storytelling & Music For A Tough Sell

In terms of quality, 27 thankfully aligns itself more closely with Morning Glories rather than the lackluster Skullkickers. Like Morning Glories continued sales success represented by numerous reprints, 27 has all the makings of solid success. The hybrid of comics and music is a tough sell. Although titles such as Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s Phonogram series have proven to be critically lauded, commercial applications have been limited. Of course, a relatively rare exception to this the comics/music combination has been the Scott Pilgrim franchise.

27 is an unorthodox story, charting the course of a desperate artist who seems willing to do just about anything to get back what he’s lost. Metaphorically speaking, how many rock musicians have found themselves on similar paths, chasing fragments of their youth and vigor through self-destructive methods? It’s perhaps no mistake that writer Charles Soule is himself a musician, adding an authenticity to the voice of our protagonist. Graphic design elements to the book have the appearance of Rock & Roll promotional ads, drawing upon the musical foundation of 27’s pedigree.

Bottom Line: Put Some Music Back Into Your Life

How far would you be willing to go to have magic in your life? For $3.50 and a little luck, you can have a taste within the pages of 27 this Wednesday. If your local shop has it in stock, I recommend adding it to your stack. If they’re sold out, pre-order the inevitable 2nd or 3rd printing. Or you can try to acquire it on the secondary market for multiples of its original cover price. 27 earns 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author

Mike McLarty

Mike McLarty

A San Diego native, Mike has comics in his blood and has attended the San Diego Comic Con every year since 1982. His comic interests are as varied as his crimes against humanity, but he tends to lean heavily towards things rooted in dystopian themes. His favorite comic series is Warren Ellis’ and Darick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan. Spider Jerusalem is the best character ever devised. Mike realizes those statements will alienate a good portion of his potential audience, but those are the facts. You are unlikely to find a single collector with a better Transmetropolitan art portfolio than the one he has in his possession. He is an Assistant Editor for the upcoming Transmetropolitan Charity Book.

He also occasionally freelances for various other comics websites, which he promotes through his homepage (www.comickarma.com), Twitter and other inherently intrusive forms of social media. Mike firmly believes that the best writers come from the UK. This could be because he’s of Irish descent; not so much based on physical geography as the fact that the Irish like to drink heavily.

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