By Curt Pires, Jason Copland & Pete Toms
There is nothing quite like the thrill of picking up the debut issue of an obscure mini-series and going in with fresh eyes and an open mind. The first issue of POP was released this week from Dark Horse and was a unexpectedly fun read. It centers around the idea that most or all of the pop music idols had been engineered in tubes by a shady corporation. The story of POP picks up when they find out their latest star, Elle Ray, has escaped prematurely.
POP‘s story does an fantastic job of riding that fine line between serious and corny. You can’t deny that the concept of the evil corporation growing cash cow pop idols is a bit over-the-top. Pires skillfully handles that bizarre concept while still maintaining a grave tone. Since this is only a 4 issue mini-series it’s crucial to hook the reader in immediately, which POP does well. The plot and characters are established quite well in this first issue and didn’t feel like too much information was forced. It also never hurts to have a comic wherein a singer named “Dustin Beaver” is getting shot in the kneecaps.
Artistically, POP looked great. The cover was simple but striking; however, the interior art by Jason Copland was surprisingly dense compared to his cover. Copland has a sketchy style that strikes a familiar cord with a pulp and crime comic style. Mix that with incredible colors from Pete Toms and it gives the comic a distinct feeling. Toms’ colors are quite vibrant but still carry a more classic tone that assists Copland’s pulp style. It’s an interesting mix of Copland’s dark inks with Toms’ bright colors and it makes POP actually pop.
This was a very entertaining first issue. Being a four issue mini-series and having such a strong starting issue, it seems dumb to not continue reading POP. It’s just nice to have an amusing mini-series to just read monthly and enjoy the ride. It’s both goofy and witty, which is something comics needs more of.