Thursday, 7 July 2016

Plutona Review (Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox)

With Plutona, Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox basically took Stephen King’s The Body and tweaked it slightly to make the dead body a superhero - and that’s it really! That said, while unoriginal, it’s not a terrible read.

Plutona’s not a plot-driven book but rather a character piece. The focus is on the small group of kids and their relationships with one another: Mie and her little brother Mike; Diane, Mie’s friend; Ray, the rebel kid whose alcoholic dad smacks him around; and Teddy, the quiet loner obsessed with superheroes. 

Lemire writes the characters well and it’s interesting seeing friendships weaken, new ones form, and the dynamics of the group evolve as their shared secret of the dead superhero in the woods slowly changes their lives. Plutona is the MacGuffin in that it’s all about her and yet it’s not - this is really a story about growing up and friendship. 

But there is a little story featuring Plutona included about how she came to be in the woods which Lemire also illustrates. The mystery is compelling until the anticlimactic end. 

And, unfortunately, anticlimactic is the word with Plutona. Sure, it’s a decent episodic snapshot of these characters’ lives but once you’ve finished you’re left wondering what the point was meant to be - assuming there was one. Plutona is a mildly entertaining but derivative and forgettable addition to the superhero genre.

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