Rating: 5/5 – Kids that are Accurately Portrayed Like Kids.
by ComicSpectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
It isn’t always easy to have kids sound like kids when writing dialogue. Many times writers will either use too much “kid talk” or slang, or will have them sound too smart thereby making the kids seem unrealistic. The dialogue and script by Jeff Lemire pulls this challenge off. The characters in the first issue of Plutona sound realistic for their age, which is set during sometime in their middle school years. Although there are some hints of the stereotypes we’ve seen before in a group of kids coming together, for the most part the entire cast feels unique and original which makes this first issue of an all new series a must read.
The cast of Plutona revolves around five kids, each coming from a different place in terms of economic and family status, but all attending the same school. Creators Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox make the choice to follow them on an average day of school which tells us so much about each character. Ray is the bully who’s lashing out due to some obvious problems at home. Mie is just a bit selfish as she tries to take care of herself and her little brother. Teddy is a bit more intellectual, but also driven. Each character has depth, and Lemire and Lenox show off their personalities in the subtlest ways throughout this issue.
That depth of character can also be found throughout because of the art. Lenox uses again, subtle facial animations to showcase the character’s personality. When Mie decides to not share the coat her friend lets her borrow, there’s just a hint of sadness in her mouth and eyes, but it’s enough. Lenox draws the character’s eyes slightly too big, but that style works and fits into the overall atmosphere. Also, Jordie Bellaire handles the colors which are bright, but never obnoxious. The colors, like the characters and their animations are subdued, but tell the story. It all works so well together and after the main story is over, we get a three page story titled “Plutona’s Last Adventure” that’s written and drawn by Lemire so his moody and beautiful art does grace this premiere issue.
Overall, Plutona works on so many levels. I never referenced the story events because the surprise at the end shouldn’t be spoiled. Just know that this story puts the characters first and the action, what little there is of it, distantly second. Lemire and Lenox have really captured the attitude, dialogue and feelings of kids and if it was just a story about them growing up with the daily life of school and peer pressure, it almost feels as though that would be enough. Luckily for us, there’s so much more and I can’t wait to see it.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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