by Shaun Simon, Tyler Jenkins, and Kelly Fitzpatrick
Neverboy is the type of book that a person reads and feels as though they are totally with it for a majority of the story. Even when a few speed bumps occurs that might seem to be strange, the momentum and story telling pull the reader forward. Then suddenly, the story hits enough speed bumps and the mask falls off completely and the true nature is revealed. Neverboy is a brand new series from Shaun Simon and Tyler Jenkins and after the first issue, most readers will find themselves turning back to page one. This is one people will want to read a few times, and that confusing feeling that lingers each time? That means it is working.
The main character brings readers into the story as he sits in the hospital emergency room looking for some way to score drugs. He looks carefree, almost too relaxed as he schemes and steals ideas from other civilians filling out their forms in an attempt to list a convincing ailment. Eventually he is able to pocket a bottle off of an individual brought in for an attempted overdose and he is off into the world. Simon gives the readers very little information in the sequence, and the lead character certainly catches the reader’s attention. He feels very swashbuckling and fun despite seeming to be a junkie who is more invested in his next fix than picking up his son from school. But, there is something about the sequence that just doesn’t feel right.
Eventually the book makes it ways back to the home of the man’s family as they get themselves ready for their child’s talent show that evening. Tyler Jenkins, most notable for his work on Peter Panzerfaust uses a slightly different art style here. The world looks unsettled and the pencil work he utilizes gives everything a slight raw look. Things don’t feel polished and the character it brings to the setting and designs feels exciting. Paired with some very interesting coloring by Kelly Fitzpatrick, Neverboy is definitely visually impressive. Jenkins manages to infuse a lot of emotion in the physicality and facial features of the characters he creates while Fitzpatrick’s somewhat muted coloring adds a really intriguing tone to the opening chapter.
As the book moves into its second half, the story really begins to feel strange. Ben’s dad talks of a story from long ago about his time with a boy named Sam and the universe they created. They each played roles, his being that of Neverboy. But, there is something odd about this pairing and it gets even more strange as the story continues. By the time the family is headed to the talent show, the plot has shifted and readers will sense something else entirely is at work. In repeated reads, Jenkins and Simon have left clues throughout and that only enriches the experience of the first chapter. It is an incredible final act, with tension rising and the momentum matching the increasing confusion of the reader.
Neverboy is a unique new story from Simon and Jenkins. The experience of reading through issue one is incredibly exciting. With the reveal at the end of issue one, the tone and approach of future issues will certainly utilize less of a shrouded method. It will be interesting to see how the book continues and what type of world this is that the creators have made. Regardless, this first issue is so impressively crafted that it is worth reading through on its own.