REVIEW: 21 Down #1

“Simple Kind of Life” – the Conduit, Part One

by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray (writers), Jesus Saiz (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Paul Mounts (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Joe Jusko (cover artist), Kristy Quinn (assistant editor), Bob Harras (editor)

Wildstorm Productions, Price : $2.95

Thoughts : When you first make the connection that this series is from Wildstorm and has a gen-factor lead character involved, a lot of people quickly make the assumption this is going to be a cheesy Gen13 related series. Before you go any further, forget that thought it it ever crossed your mind because 21 Down isn’t what you expect.

Not by a long shot!

If you were lucky enough to take a shot at the Gen13 #0 preview that came out a month of two ago you would have gotten an early glimpse at this series. In just a few short pages I was hooked on the concept, despite it sounding a bit goofy. Seriously, a young man’s superhuman abilities are activated and he knows on his 21st birthday he’s going to die. Not exactly what you call a series that has a lot of longevity, but again don’t count it out on what it sounds like. No, this series has a lot to offer and its done in an amazing way with the talents of Jimmy Aplmiotti, Justin Gray, and Jesus Saiz.

Palmiotti has been proving himself as a writer for the last few years. While never on board anything for long, his touch on a series is felt immedaitely and people always look back and acknowledge that his time on a series was one of quality. This series is nothing short of brilliant and one that you cannot miss the oppotunity of reading.

Jesus Saiz’s artwork along with Palmiotti on inks and the legendary Paul Mounts on colors provides a very dark and moody backsrop to this series. This isn’t a series for light reading. There’s a lot of life in this first issue. Not life like you would think, but life in general. You can relate to Preston, out lead character, because he’s living his life as if he’s dying of a fatal case of cancer. He’s facing life knowing his life is coming to an end, and its soon. You get attached to him very quickly and you see through his eyes, much as he sees through the eyes of the dead that he comes in contact with. He sees their last moment of life, and so will we see his. Its very deep.

the Verdict : I’m going out on a limb here saying this series is going to be huge. Its going to start out with a solid fan base and grow. Think in the lines of 100 Bullets. Folks, its that good and to miss out on the first issue is almost insane. Check it out!

Highly Recommended