Pop #1 (of 4)
Story: Curt Pires
Art: Jason Copland
Colors: Pete Toms
Letters: Ryan Ferrier
Publisher: Dark Horse
I’ve been on a kick lately. With the release of Image Comics’ title, The Wicked + The Divine and my subsequent obsession with it, I’ve been looking for something similar to dive into. Of course, there are the other works by those creators, but when I found out about Pop, the premise intrigued me in much the same way.
Pop exists in a reality that could very well be our own, where the world’s most famous pop stars are genetically engineered and grown instead of discovered. The sinister group of individuals behind the scheme keep tabs on them, controlling their careers and presumably reaping the profits. That is, until one of their latest creations, a girl named Elle Ray, escapes. All in all, it’s pretty messed up, but in the best way.
It’s the fact that the world of this book is so obviously meant to be a critique on our own that makes me such a fan of it. From the very first page, Pires and Copland don’t try to pretend that one of the stars in this reality isn’t Justin Bieber (though they obviously can’t call him that) and go as far as to namedrop several other familiar singers. It’d be easy here to take the low road and fill the issue with Bieber criticism and bashing just for the heck of it– there are a few jokes, but they never come off as excessive– but that’s not the story here. It’s less about the stars themselves as it is about the system that’s created them, the people obsessed with squeezing all that they can out of fifteen minutes of fame. The puppeteers backstage are the story and the mystery here and the pop stars themselves innocent victims. I’m very interested to see where Pires goes with this, and I’m enjoying the sci-fi influence of a lot of the plot elements.
The story lends itself well to Copland’s art, which isn’t normally the type of art that draws my eye when I’m looking for a new title to dig into. Toms’s colors are flatter than the Marvel and Image books I read, but it works here. There’s a reservedness to the art as well, backgrounds that fall away for emphasis to bright color. It’s a choice that really benefits this book, especially in the opening pages. This book is no The Wicked + The Divine, but its one that is an interesting enough perspective on popular music and stardom to get by on its own merits.
Pop #1, from Dark Horse Comics, will be available August 27, 2014.