Comic Book Review: Throwaways #2

I am always, always, always fully ready to enjoy the material when I sit down to consume cultural somethings, even when I pick or am assigned a film or a book that I wouldn’t normally make the effort to read or see. Consequently, I feel slightly guilty sometimes when I really dislike or can’t get into something. (Slightly.) But that’s precisely why SJP gives me free comics and such: to poop out my opinion of them on this forum.

And I hate to judge so harshly when it’s only the second issue, but that’s more or less the breaking point for most readers, isn’t it? The debut issue of writer Caitlin Kittredge and artist Steven Sanders’ Throwaways was mostly spent sewing together a few vague ideas and a couple of main characters with checkered pasts and some unusual abilities. It seemed somewhat disjointed, but at least hinted at the possibility of more (and greater) story to come. So I decided to give it the old second-issue try to see if it was worth adding to my Give-a-Shit List. And let me tell you, getting through that second issue was like drudgery. I just was NOT into it.

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This series suffers from a fundamental problem in that the ground it covers–mind control, government “program” aka conspiracy à la MKUltra–is already pretty well-traveled in comics. If you’re going for subject matter that’s already accrued significant mileage in the medium, it’s imperative to bring something new to it to hold interest. I wouldn’t necessarily say the story lacks originality; more that it lacks panache, lacks cohesion, lacks any sort of unique spin that could possibly elevate it and make it more engaging, and not just-another-mind-control comic. The art is fine, for the most part, though occasionally during action sequences I couldn’t tell exactly what was happening. The color scheme seems unusually bright and cheerful for a story of this nature, but part of me enjoys the fact that it’s a departure from the more shadowy aesthetic these types of stories usually employ.

Throwaways #2 failed at being more interesting than the previous issue, which as I mentioned before was only semi-intriguing in that it made you ponder the ultimate significance (read: point) of all the bits and pieces of information given. Its characters are pretty unsympathetic as well, not because they’re evil degenerates or anything–well, actually, I take that back; aside from any characteristics directly pertaining to the storyline, we don’t really know what they are, as its characterizations lack any sort of depth. I just could not bring myself to care about these people or what happens to them. A frustrating read.

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