cover image Plutona, Vol. 1

Plutona, Vol. 1

Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, and Jordie Bellaire. Image, $16.99 (152p) ISBN 978-1-63215-601-3

This tense SF graphic novel opens with four wordless panels. A young woman lies dead, her long blond hair, white boots, long white gloves, and black Colombina mask stark against the forest floor. The tightly paced sequence that follows introduces five teens: Teddy, Diane, Ray, Mei, and Mei's younger brother, Mike. This group will discover Plutona, the fallen superhero, before the day is over. Lemire (Essex County) and Lenox (Emi Town) have crafted an addictive and anxiety-inducing story. Lenox's drawings, particularly of the kids' expressions and body language, give nuanced insight into the power balance of the group as they debate what to do with the body. Ray instantly wants to reveal the discovery to the press; Teddy is desperate to keep it a secret. Mei is both immensely protective of and constantly annoyed by Mike. Diane's deep uncertainty about her friendship with Mei is especially poignant. The wary tone of adolescent alliances and small thoughtless cruelties is captured perfectly. Colorist Bellaire works magic, contrasting the muted primaries of the school scenes against the cool shadows of the forest. (July)