Brilliant Trash #2 Review: Superpowers Can Be Horrible

Brilliant Trash #2
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Writer: Tim Seeley, Artist: Priscilla Petraites, Color Artist: Marko Lesko, Letters: Marshall Dillon, Cover by: Mike Norton, Publisher: Aftershock Comics, Release Date: Out Today, Price: $3.99

Kennedy Avis wakes up from a strange and vivid dream, wherein she is a young Chinese gymnast, to find a group of young outlaws with augmented physiologies. Each on has superpowers and are interested in the dreams of the young Chinese girl she is having. Unfortunately, other parties are interested in her and the knowledge she has too. In the end, however, no one may have Kennedy’s best interests at heart.

Brilliant Trash #2 cover by Mike Norton
Brilliant Trash #2 cover by Mike Norton

One striking thing about Brilliant Trash is how untrustworthy everyone really is. You don’t know who is on Kennedy’s side, and you don’t know who has the best intentions for society in general.

It’s something of a near-future corporate cyberpunk pseudo-dystopia. However, the regular futuristic weapons seem to be mostly replaced with superpowers. Nothing comes without a price though, and we get some graphic scenes of those prices being paid.

That’s another notable quality of Brilliant Trash. It is a bit of a rough read. There are some pretty gory scenes. The gore is creative and visceral too, so that makes it more effective and cringe-inducing. I dig it.

One issue is how passive Kennedy Avis is in all this. She isn’t really given space to show personality, and everything in this issue happens to her instead of her having any agency in the plot. People try to cut her open, steal her, kidnap her, but she doesn’t get to do anything other than try to get away.

There’s not anyone to root for, consequently. She’s the target of everyone else, and everyone else is more-or-less terrible. Many characters are intriguing, but none of the are compelling enough to keep me hooked. That’s a pretty glaring problem in a comic like this, but I’m also coming in from #2. Plus, Kennedy may come into her own yet, as this is certainly a well-written comic which shows a lot of promise. Tim Seeley is a solid writer, and he has shown himself effective at character development in books like Nightwing and Green Lanterns.

The art is provably excellent though, with a good balance of sleek and grit to match the futuristic pseudo-dystopia of this world. Beyond that, it just looks damn good. Priscilla Petraites does some good work here, and she brings the above-mentioned gore to life in a delightfully unnerving manner. Marko Lesko’s colorwork is equally atmospheric, and the comic comes together nicely in terms of visuals.

Despite the issues with characters and motivation, the world of Brilliant Trash is certainly interesting enough to warrant checking out. Plus, Seeley, Petraites, and Lesko put together quite the world here, and it’s easy to get sucked into it. I can recommend this one, and you should give it a chance.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.