A troubled English kid named Fergie is at a rough patch in his life. His father is in prison. He’s carted around to play the “bad kid” in Jeremy Kyle-esque daytime trash television. His mother is distant. He’s bullied at school. He’s haunted by a punk rock ghost named Sid. Of course, that last part may yet prove to be a boon.
Punk’s Not Dead #1 is a very promising opening for this new IDW Black Crown series. The premise is unique, challenging, and has the anarchy bug in a time where everyone could probably use a jolt of fighting the power.
We don’t get that much of a look at Fergie as a character in this first installment. This is partially due to this comic setting up some things that needn’t be introduced yet, and partially by likely design. Fergie has a weird life. He has an occupation that involves him playing a bad kid while his own identity is suppressed by his own nonstop schedule. This kid probably hasn’t discovered his true self yet, but he does show a small streak of punk that could be cultivated.
Sid appropriately brings a lot of personality and flavor to this one. He’s a drunken ghost, irreverent, but he’s oddly found a streak of freedom in Fergie, whom is the only one who can see and hear Sid. This endears the kid to Sid, and he will see what he can do with this teenager.
There’s an old woman who is the head of a B.P.R.D-like organization, and this angle seems unneeded in this first issue. We could have had a little more time to discover more about Fergie and his life.
Fergie’s life isn’t explained that well. Why he has two mom’s that aren’t in a relationship isn’t clear. The former just seems to be an actress for the show, but that’s not clearly explained either. This could be clarified later, but I see no reason why this couldn’t have just been better explained in this issue. It doesn’t help that Fergie comes off as an unreliable narrator, further obfuscating these details. These aren’t massive problems, but they are a bit distracting.
Martin Simmonds’ artwork is absolutely gorgeous. The world is vibrant and alive with a ton of depth and detail. By contrast, Sid looks grody and disheveled, but that adds the appropriate balance which works as good symbolism as to why Fergie is drawn to him too. Dee Cunniffe’s color flats brings this balance together even better with striking color contrast. This is a beautiful book.
Punk’s Not Dead #1 brings a great showing to the table with a unique premise and plenty of potential. Fergie is a repressed teenager, Sid is a dead and drunk punk rocker, and the artwork is incredible. This one is highly recommended. Give it a try.
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