Javier Alaniz's Reviews > Deadenders: Stealing the Sun

Deadenders by Ed Brubaker
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Jul 26, 11

bookshelves: comics
Read from April 21 to May 02, 2011

Deadenders
Written by Ed Brubaker
Drawn by Warren Pleece
Published by DC: Vertigo

You'd think the post apocalypse would be played out by now. But despite some retread themes, Brubakers' deft handling of character and uncanny ability to describe youth culture makes for a fantastic and original comics series.
In New Bethlehem, blue skies, white clouds, and sunshine are a privilege provided only to the wealthy citizens of the inner sectors. In the outer sectors, the world has become one smog skied cityscape of brown haze. The how's and why's of this world are revealed, one by one as the main character explores why his fucked up life occasionally switches channels to a beautiful and happy version where the beach isn't a biohazard and corporate riot police don't murder your friends.

Generally comics about young people sound forced and fake, like moms trying to imitate mall talk. But Brubaker captures teen angst and scenester relationships with an authenticity that's unprecedented in comics (Daniel Clowes?). Deadenders plays like a post-modern reimagining of Fonz and the gang from Happy Days, or the R Rated version of Archie complete with drugs, sex, and the end of the world.
The excellent story is complemented well by Pleece's pencils. Inks and colors by Cameron Stewart and Bjarne Hansen conspicuously help build the dreary atmosphere punctuated by visions of what could be.

Sadly the series was cancelled after 16 issues, and the story that was paced so well for the first 12 or so, becomes noticeably rushed as Brubaker is forced to wrap up it up months earlier than intended.
Even worse, the Trade Paper Back "Stealing the Sun" only collects the first four issues of the series. #5-16 can be purchased online at mycomicshop.com for about $2 a piece.

I can't recommend reading the Trade Paperback alone. The first four issues are like the first chapter of an excellent mystery, you'd finish with more questions than answers and only be frustrated by not knowing the conclusion. Sadly this is one of those very good stories that are lost to the vast majority of readers due to the exigencies of comic book publishing.
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