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Sep 12, 2013

REVIEW: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #4

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys has been, from its very first issue, a wildly ambitious undertaking. With references ranging from Aldous Huxley's Brave New World to Blade Runner (and, separately, Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), the series set itself up to be either a colossal misstep or a roaring narrative success. While issue #4 is not without its flaws, the creative team of Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, and Becky Cloonan do right by their spiritual source material by producing one of the best issues in the series so far.

 There's a lot happening in the fourth issue of Killjoys, and most of it is executed with an impressive amount of panache. At the heart of the book is an ongoing war of ideas. On one side, we have The Girl, the lost soul who is positioned as both an Everyman and a savior, fighting to keep alive the mission of the original Killjoys as Val takes his gang of outlaws down an increasingly chaotic route. Then there's the renegade star-crossed pornbots, Blue and Red, who are racing against the clock to find peace together, even if their only option is death. And lastly, we have Korse, a BLI drone who's been infected with the worst plague of all: love. All of these stories are held together by the same questions: What is it that makes us people instead of machines? What does it mean to feel in an unfeeling world? What does it mean to be free?

These are all heavy philosophical questions, and Way, Simon, and Cloonan carry them on their backs as though they were weightless. Bigger picture concerns are handled more deftly than some of the plot's finer details, but overall, it's a stellar issue that is both thought-provoking and engaging.


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