Start Again #1
Writer/Letterer: Jaime Me
Artist: Toni Doya
Colorist: Sean Callahan
Start Again introduces us to Natalie and Ajay, two young Brits who encounter each other in the strangest of meet-cutes, when Ajay walks in on Natalie in the bathroom. A public bathroom. A public Ladies Room, no less. In no time at all, the couple is in bed together, and that’s when things get really awkward.
As it turns out, Ajay isn’t just your ordinary young man: he’s also the superhero known as “Jump.” You could probably hazard a guess as to what his powers are. Without getting into too many details, Ajay’s sexual encounter leads to his identity (and much more) being revealed to the public. Needless to say, Ajay’s life gets flip-turned upside down.
The script is fairly straight-forward but writer Jamie Me manages to balance a lot of complex themes including anxiety, post-traumatic stress, the high cost of fame, and the evils of social media. Ajay has more than a few skeletons in his closet. Though what those may be is never fully revealed, at least not for now. We don’t see much of his romance with Natalie before they jump into bed. Their relationship is certainly the catalyst for later events, including a last-page reveal that will certainly complicate things going forward.
The art by Toni Doya and Sean Callahan complements the story nicely. The characters are all drawn fairly realistically, while backgrounds and other details are rendered in a similar manner. The mostly flat colors work to make the characters stand out and really help to set the mood of each scene. The only criticism is that certain panels would benefit from more clearly-defined transitions. There are also a few awkward depictions, including one fairly dramatic moment early, where the character’s motivations aren’t quite clear. That said, the art team has a lot of potential, and I look forward to seeing them grow from here.
Just in case you couldn’t tell from the above descriptions. This book is intended for Mature Readers due to language, sexual content, and graphic nudity. Originally launched on Kickstarter, the first issue of Start Again is available online here and the second issue is currently in development. If you’d like to help this series continue, you can check out his current Kickstarter here.
The Verdict: Check it out!
Jaime Me is a great up-and-coming writer and delivers a very unique take on both the superhero genre, as well as the boy-meets-girl concept.