Would it be horribly dating myself to reference the REM album that bears the same name as this comic, from writer Mike Garley and artist Mike Simmonds? Remember when REM retired and everyone was like, “They were still around?”, man that was probably a sad time for Mike and the boys. Enough about American Jangle Pop! Eponymous, is a digital comic that has been appearing in segments in the digital anthology VS. but is now being released in physical form as a collected edition. You might not think that this is anything to get excited about, but it is, I mean as long as we’re still getting excited about great comics. Oh god are we not doing that anymore? I’m a child of the 90s, I can be ironic and detached with the best of Gen X.
Being a writer myself, I normally start off my reviews by talking about the writing side of things and while Eponymous is very well written, the art is just stunning. It brings to mind the controlled artistic chaos of Maleev and Sienkiewicz but at the same time maintaining a soft, coherent palette that reminds me of Fiona Staples. It looks gorgeous on my ipad (humble brag? naw, I only have an ipad 2, I may as well not even bother getting out of bed) and I imagine it’s going to look even better when it’s bound and physical.
Do you know what “eponymous” means? I honestly didn’t until I sat down to write this review. It means when you give your name to a tribe or a place (thank you Dictionary.com), like how Utah is named after Steve Utah? Steve Utah would be the eponymous founder of Utah. In the comic however, “eponymous” is a threat. A threat that has to be dealt with and sometimes you can only deal with threats by pitching a girl off a skyscraper. (You need to read the book).
There’s a little girl with visions, visions of things to come but not necessarily things people WANT to come. She sees people dying (burning- her doctor corrects her) and she sees superheroes, in a world like ours where that’s not something we see every day (I know, I know, the cops and the fire department are the real superheroes, I was in grammar school once, I’ve seen the posters). This little girl has seen visions where this eponymous threat (embodied by a clad in black, ass kicking super-heroine) is responsible for the deaths of billions. Prophecies always seem to be bad don’t they? Except for the Christopher Walken film, “The Prophecy”, that was a great prophecy.
This is a comic with layers of satisfying mystery wrapped around it’s dark, inky heart. It’s a story where the villains aren’t as clear cut as you’d expect, although they do dress in a lot of black and quote Schwarzenegger so that doesn’t make ‘em appear too good. The creative team here clearly knows storytelling, they have found a perfect pace for their tale, giving out enough to keep the reader totally invested but without disappearing into a sink hole of endless, pointless story webs. I want to know whats going to happen to next and I know you are going to as well.
It’s espionage mixed with superheroics, it’s dark and sinister figures and super technology, it’s about genocide, the future and a little girl falling with a big girl leaping. With it’s combination of tight, engaging writing and gorgeous, heart stopping art, Eponymous is a must read for those starved of bold and bad ass new books.
Check out more from the Eponymous crew at their site, http://www.vscomics.co.uk/