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27 #1

Posted: Monday, December 13, 2010
By: Robert Tacopina

Charles Soule
Renzo Podesta, Shawn DePasquale (l)
Image Comics
Every rock fan who’s worth cranking it up to 11 knows that the number 27 is a significantly sad number for rockers. Many of our favorites have had the unfortunate distinction of passing away at that very age--Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin to name some of the more famous of the group. In this limited series from Image Comics we see the possibility of another rock god facing his demise upon his 27th birthday.

Enter Will Garland, super guitarist of the band The Fizz. After rocketing to stardom over night and playing their homecoming show at L.A.’s Staple Center, Will finds himself in a precarious predicament. He has lost the use of his left hand due to Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy which prohibits him from doing the one thing that he loves most, playing the guitar. After an extensive search in an unsuccessful search to find a cure for his condition Will finds himself down to his last dollar and at his last resort, the door to a controversial doctor who just may hold the cure to what ails him.

Unfortunately for Will, the bizarre procedure leaves him less than satisfied with the doctor’s practice as instead of being cured and having full functionality of his hand he has been left with some weird sort of speaker box in his chest. Not to mention the incredibly trippy procedure that has seen Will naked and placed in a weird apparatus while the doctor procures nine cats. It really is an odd scene to try and make sense of. Afterwards a breakthrough happens--a short burst of painlessness allows Will to once again shred his axe. As luck would have it that would not last for too long and Will begins to tamper with his chest only to be faced with a group of ghosts who demand him to stop using the device implanted in his chest.

Charles Soule has created a sympathetic yet strange story detailing a young mans struggle to regain the one thing that set him apart and brought him inner peace. As a reader you definitely sense the immensity of Will’s struggle and the desperation he faces in merely wanting to play the guitar again. However, the story seems to lose cohesion once the doctor is introduced into the story. It is still a worthwhile read though and you are left wondering what is really going on here? Artist Renzo Podesta illustrates this comic with a kinetic style that is befitting of the story that is laid before him. He utilizes a loose feel with his pencils, much like a guitarist wings a solo. It was a wise pairing if writer and artist to collaborate on Twenty-Seven.

This series is a nice change of pace from my standard practice of superhero books. I enjoyed the plot and the scenario in which the main character is placed in. I am eager to see where the story goes from this opening issue as there are many questions that have been introduced that are just yearning to be answered.



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