Advance Review: They’re Not Like Us #7

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TheyreNotLikeUs07_cover

Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Eric Stephenson
Art: Simon Gane
Colours: Jordie Bellaire
Lettering: Fonografiks

In issue #6 of They’re Not Like Us, Blurgirl had slit her wrists. Pushed by Syd, Maisie took upon herself the responsibility of calling an ambulance despite a certain degree of resistance from some of the others, so people who don’t belong to the group (“normals”) ended up entering the house.

Meanwhile, the leader of the group – a man who calls himself “The Voice” – brought Syd’s parents to a different house, and set up the stage to allow Syd to kill them, as expected from all members of the group. But she ended up not only talking to them (thus allowing us to find out that her real name is Tabitha), but even explaining what she really is and revealing details about the group. She then decided to leave the group while still not going back to her family. She erases all memories of her from her parents’ heads then leaves the room and the group – followed by some of the others.

Issue #7 opens with Blurgirl and Syd embracing, one month after Blurgirl’s suicide attempt. Some of the people who left the group with Syd are with them; we are led to understand that they created another, more relaxed group somewhere else. Sure they went back to their real names. Danny, who used to be known as Loog, managed to erase everyone’s hospital records, but he seems worried about something he can’t really point his finger on. What he doesn’t know is that a Police Detective is starting to suspect something…

The lives of the They’re Not Like Us characters are gaining even more depth and meaning. Despite the fact that their “gifts” are obviously far from being realistic, the young men and women in this series are extremely real, extremely plausible. It is a compelling story, with not much in the way of action (in this issue there’s no real action at all) but a lot of story-building.

The art… well, in past reviews I have mentioned several 1970s Italian artists the artwork on They’re Not Like Us brought to mind, and last month Simon Gane – the artist – was kind enough to suggest that I also look into Jacques Tardi’s style. And yes, maybe Tardi’s work was more of a direct inspiration for Gane. But please keep in mind that I am not calling his style derivative in any way: he has obviously read a lot of older comics and, like every good artist does (and even some of the bad ones, I imagine), he developed a personal, very interesting style of his own taking the best aspects of what his favourites did and integrating them into his own ideas.

This issue of They’re Not Like Us gives us some more surprises: let’s see how everything develops, it is worth the effort!

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