In This Issue: Ever hear the phrase, “Live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse”? Well, with Top Cow’s latest Pilot Season offering, Forever, that expression goes totally right out the door. In Forever, a company known as Longevity, has found a way to prolong life and restore health to those that are dying of terminal illness. Only problem is that Longevity research assistant Ryan Chambers soon learns that a longer and healthier life comes at a terrible price.
The Good: A book like Forever is not one I would expect to see from Top Cow and that’s a good thing. It’s really great to see them explore new ideas and concepts outside their normal fare. Besides the shady vibe we get from Longevity, we’re also given a really intriguing mystery concerning the unusual deaths of five of Ryan’s former friends from the orphanage he grew up in. Are these deaths connected in some strange way or is Ryan just being a little paranoid? There is also a really great Longevity commercial that runs a third of the way into the book. Even though this segment runs 3 pages long, it doesn’t seem long winded or over extended in the least. Ingleby’s dialogue is natural and smooth while Nachlik’s art has more of an indy vibe rather than the type of Silvestri inspired art that we’ve come to expect from The Cow. Again, that’s a good thing.
The Bad: As much as I really dug the concept, I felt that certain instances in the book just didn’t make sense. These might be little things, mind you, but they were enough to bring me to a halt and take me out of the story. First of which is a Longevity billboard that hangs from about three stories up the side of a building over looking an intersection. The phrase, “THEY STEAL LIFE!” was spray painted across it in big red letters. Now for a building with a huge Longevity billboard and forty or so flat television screens hanging off the same side of the structure playing the Longevity commercial on loop and no windows or any other visible access to the billboard whatsoever, well, it makes me wonder, how the heck was anyone able to get up there to graffiti across the billboard in the first place?
Another example of this type of head scratching scenario comes further in the story when Ryan meets the mysterious Kane who wants to help Ryan learn the truth about the company for which he he works. Kane does so by beating Ryan to a bloody pulp and then taking him along to ambush some former Longevity recipients to take back what they stole. Basically, these former clients are being brutally punished for something that in actuality Longevity should be held accountable. They just wanted to live a little longer and healthier. You can’t hold the consumer responsible for the corporation’s misdeeds. It just didn’t make sense.
The last thing that didn’t really make sense was at the end of the book Ryan states that he’s, “Lived with the questions for too long.” But nothing in the story up until that point alluded to the fact that he even had questions to begin with. It was news to me since Ryan was presented as a pretty content individual who had a pretty good life.
Final Thought: Forever is a book that has much promise. The ideas and concepts behind it are great and the dialogue and art are both solid, but a few flaws in the story really held this book from reaching its full potential.