by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire
The creative team behind Plutona are delicately piecing together one of the most intriguing new series of the year. Each month, readers are given a small piece of the story through a slow delivery that gives the story and its universe a lot of space to breathe. While some creators might move faster in favor of catering to the plot and mystery, this team finds momentum and engagement in other ways. Once more, Plutona shines as it hits on every level.
It’s been a day since the group of kids stumbled across the body of a well-known superhero from their city. Taking the tone of Steven King’s The Body the book aims for really spending time with its characters, letting them interact and showcasing a very distinct mood to the story as a whole. Although this is a book that contains super heroics and a mystery plot, the pacing of this story and the events of each chapter do not follow conventionality in any way. Instead, from spending time with the characters in their natural environment, catching wordless panels of their day and interactions with the environment all lend to the tone that functions as the most enthralling aspect of the entire tale. Ultimately, the way each of the characters handles their secret and aspects of their own personalities far outweigh the questions around the mystery or the existence of powers. What is even more astonishing is the reality of how little readers know about any one of the story’s featured individuals. Despite this, Lemire’s writing and the art from Lenox and Bellaire tell readers all that is necessary to invest in the characters.
Here, in the third chapter of Plutona, Lemire jumps forward only slightly to add a bit more tension to the story. As the final pages came in the second issue, readers were left with a very unnerving scene as one of the characters had returned to the body late at night. That piece of the narrative is put on hold briefly while the group heads out to the scene the next day. The interplay between each character is fantastically handled and with each interaction and issue readers will recognize more and more of their personalities, as well as how they have begun to change, without needing much background information. Instead, everything is told through the secret they share and how they interact with each other. Lenox’s share’s Lemire’s simplicity and subtlety when finding ways to communicate with the audience. Choices of how scenes are framed, where characters are positioned and their general physicality all lend to the development of this story in incredibly powerful ways. Lenox’s art, with Bellaire’s coloring, provide significant weight to the story. In a short sequence, as readers see Mie and Diane texting back and forth, a second story is transpiring in the background. It’s quiet, but once visible, it speaks even louder about the title’s quietest character.
With another dark ending and much uncertainty, Plutona is beautifully captivating. It is a series that almost needs no story for how well crafted and engaging the creators have made their characters and universe. Still, it is all the more delightful to have the mystery of Plutona running behind it all. With so much to love about the series, the next issue is certainly anticipated highly.