Back in November 2010 fans of the now-defunct New Jersey rock band My Chemical Romance were treated to a concept album Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys, based on a comic book that mastermind Gerard Way was creating. The sound was as different to The Black Parade as TBP was to Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and this story was also very different. it described a post-apocalyptic world where a team of heroes calling themselves Killjoys tried to save humans from a company called Better Living Industries. In the music videos for the songs "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" and "Sing" fans were introduced to the characters played by the members of the band and also saw the beginning of this story in the comic book, where the Killjoys die protecting a little girl.
Killjoys begins where the "Sing" video left off, showing a teen girl (the one the heroes were protecting) and her beloved black cat going to get some food while trying to avoid S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W/S and Draculoids, sent to either kill or convert humans to belong to Better Living Industries.
She finds a mask belonging to Party Poison, the leader of the team, and attracts the attention of a wannabe team of "heroes", who steal her mask and lead her to a battle with Draculoids. They think she is a super-being, because the Killjoys were protecting her for some strange reason, and they called her a messiah of some sort.
I really enjoyed reading the backstory to one of my favorite albums, and if you plan on reading this you might want to hear the story on Danger Days, so I'll give you the download link for iTunes and the two music videos
The comic book is just as amazingly written as The Umbrella Academy, though vastly different. Shaun Simon also contributed to the story, and I think having the extra hand in there stirring the pot made subtle but necessary differences. This story needs to be read a few times to really grasp the whole thing, as the reader is thrust into this imaginary Earth in 2017 with no backstory and no warning, unless you listened to Danger Days as many times as I had haha.
The art in this book is by Becky Cloonan, artist for Conan and she was the first female ever to draw the Batman title, amongst many other notable works for DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics and Tokyopop. Gabriel Ba did the art for Gerard's previous comic series and fans were shocked not to see his name on the credits, but I find Ms. Cloonan's work to be much more complimentary to Killjoys than Mr. Ba's would have been. (Also, Mr. Ba drew a variant cover for this book to satisfy all of his fans, of which I have posted a photo above with the ones drawn by Ms. Cloonan and Mr. Way, respectively.)
All-in-all, I think this one will be another award-winner, as a story this fantastical and art this clean cannot be overlooked. I have to give this comic two different ratings, as two different types of people will have slightly different views of it.
For MCR fans: 5/5
For everyone else: 4/5, only because I know you will seem confused as to the backstory. I hope the links I provided will make you better understand it and adore it as the piece of extraordinary work that it is.
I also attended the signing yesterday in Anaheim, CA, at Beach Ball Comics, which is where the signed photos I have of the covers are from. Just as a side-note, these are two of the kindest people I have met. They were sweet and polite to all 300+ people who attended the event and I really appreciated that. This is only the beginning of this comic's success!
Killjoys...make some noise!!!
(All images, videos and links copyright Dark Horse Comics and Warner Bros Records, respectively.)