Feargal Ferguson (call him Fergie) is haunted by the ghost of Sid Vicious, has a bunch of emerging psychic powers, and is being hunted by a crew of monstrous magpies. Oh, and his dad’s a demon of sorts. After causing all manner of trouble at him, Fergie and Sid decide it’s time to head to London and get some answers!
There’s a whole lot to love about Punks Not Dead: London Calling, starting with the fact that David Barnett’s script is unflinchingly authentic. Fergie reads like a real, living, breathing 15-year-old with all of the emotional turmoil that implies.
The story clips along with a frantic, jangly beat, jumping between Natalie, a young woman with a strange connection to Fergie, to aged super-spy Dorothy Culpepper’s investigation of a murder that may or may not involve Fergie and Sid, all the way to a super-powered battle between a lounge-suited Fergie and a bar matron. It’s a frantic story, but it moves along with a great little hum and buzz that’s all its own.
Martin Simmonds‘ art is drop-dead gorgeous, with dreamy colors giving way to lurid splashes of pop-punk oversaturation. This is bold, fearless art, each craggy face offsetting the “old people” from the smooth, flushed vitality of the younger cast.
At its core, the punk movement is all about casting off the constraints of conformity and rattling the cage that the establishment class has us imprisoned in. Punks Not Dead captures that raw, anti-establishment energy, and somehow transforms that into a highly entertaining comic book.
The whole affair has that semi-calculated, semi-wreckless energy of classic Vertigo titles like Hellblazer and Shade, The Changing Man did in the early ’90s, but with a polish and flair that those titles struggled to pull off.
There’s a great scene mid-way through issue one, where Fergie summons up a ton of raw energy and channels it through his guitar, wielding it like some Cosmic God-Hammer. The resultant battle is kinetic and cool, with an unexpected resolution. That’s basically how I would sum up Punks Not Dead: London Calling–Kinetic and Unexpected.
I can’t wait to see more!
SUMMARY: Script: David Barnett; Art: Martin Simmonds; Letters: Aditya Bidikar; Editor: Shelly Bond; Publisher: IDW; Release Date: February 27, 2019; Cover Price: $3.99; 34 pages.