Vertigo's “Suiciders” starts off in an interesting way. The main character, The Saint, knelt before a large statue of the scourged Jesus on the cross. “Suiciders” is a comic series that occurs in a dystopian society, thirty years after the “big one” hit Los Angeles. Los Angeles is now known as New Angeles and is separated by a large wall keeping half of the remaining living population out.
The story revolves around the character “The Saint” who participates in a blood sport like show that is known as “Suiciders.” Just like the other participants, The Saint is surgically enhanced and on performance enhacing drugs. In addition to having to face each other, the coliseum where “Suiciders” takes place is filled with additional weapons and obstacles that serve to increase the level of danger faced by the participants. In this first issue, we don't get much a feel for the character of The Saint, other than the fact that he doesn't exactly live up to his name. At least, his opinion of the people on the other side of the wall certainly wouldn't win him any humanity awards.
The other half of this issue revolves around the smuggling of people from the other side of the wall into New Angeles, and the two police officers patrolling the wall. It is here that the reader gets a sense of the motivation for deciding who would stay beyond the wall. The exact thought process is pretty nebulous, so it's hard to say without any confidence how they make these decisions, but I think that seeing more during the duration of this series will help to reveal why people are on either side of the wall. Based upon what I've seen so far, the make-up of New Angeles seems to be upper class individuals, while those beyond the wall are the less fortunate. It's unknown at this point if the smugglers are going to be in the story more often, or they are only here to show us the underside of this society.
I liked the story so far and I'm definitely curious to see where this goes and what happens with The Saint. I also want to see more of New Angeles and what society is really like after the “big one.” This issue was laid out well and leaves the reader wanting to know more. Hopefully the story keeps evolving and we discover more about how this society really operates. Learning a little more about The Saint's background and motivations will help keep the story moving as well, since that is one thing that readers are left questioning. My impression of this character is that he enjoys what he does, but beyond his interactions with other characters, I can't really say that as readers we don't learn much about him.
Lee Bermejo, who wrote this issue, was also the artist and truly did a wonderful job on the artwork. It's dark and shadowy, which really enhances the darker theme of the issue. The action scenes are good even if they are limited in their display. The violence is intense and extremely graphic and this series is definitely not for little kids or those opposed to violence. But, you'd think that the title “Suiciders” would dissuade those who don't want to read about violence in the first place.
Overall this isn't on my must pick up list. I'll definitely pick up the next few issues to see where this goes and it really wasn't bad at all. I enjoyed it the issue because the writing was good and the art was great. Overall though, this just didn't grab me completely.
Posted by: Jeff @jeff201