Punks Not Dead #1
Writer: David Barnett
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Color Flats: Dee Cunniffee
Cover Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz
Letterer: Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: Black Crown (IDW)
Review by Anelise Farris
Punks Not Dead #1 brings together a lot of my favorite things: ghosts, punk music, and comics. In this first issue, we meet Fergie, a bullied 15-year-old that is haunted by the infamous Sex Pistols member Sid Vicious. After being trapped in Heathrow Airport for nearly half a century, Sid is finally able to leave his London confines when he meets Fergie. Only now, Sid is stuck to Fergie. Although Fergie didn’t get a lot of choice in the matter, it turns out that being haunted by Sid Vicious gives one certain special abilities.
And, if all that wasn’t enough to get you intrigued, Punks Not Dead #1 sets this story up to be a multi-layered mystery. It appears that Fergie’s long-lost father (who is currently detained in a maximum-security prison) might be involved. And, there is the figure Dorothy Culpepper, who is part of the super-secret Department for Extra-Usual Affairs (think X-Files meets Ghostbusters).
There’s a lot of cool things happening in Punks Not Dead #1, and for a first issue it carries its self remarkably well. To start, I like Fergie’s voice; he’s an interesting, spunky, relatable character. And Sid is characterized wonderfully; he’s all blue-tinged skin, black punk attire, and “reject authority; embrace chaos!” vibe. And Fergie’s mom is quite the character, willing to make stuff up about her and Fergie for tabloid-esque television shows and magazines (e.g. “my son is the reincarnation of my dad”).
There is a good bit of humor throughout this first issue too, and I’m always up for a government conspiracy story. The art is a mix of realism and surrealism, and the muted, soft colors with the occasional pops of brightness is appealing to the eyes. There is a good variety of panel styles and layouts, and the minimalist-style diagram of how Sid ended up haunting the airport is super cool.
Verdict: Buy it.
Even if you’re not a punk fan, there is plenty in Punks Not Dead #1 to like. With solid characters, a unique aesthetic, and a budding mystery, this series has a lot of promise!