Danger Decides: Royal City #1

Our Rating

Royal City  #1 by Jeff Lemire.  Letters by Steve Wands.  Published by Image Comics.

Dangerous Perspective: Jeff Lemire is a Canadian Cartoonist that got his career started with his trilogy, Essex County, which is an exploration of family in a small farming community.  He increased his foot hold in comics after the success of his 40 issue post-apocalyptic series, Sweet Tooth.  Since then Lemire has been non-stop, especially with writing.  He saved a dying New 52 Green Arrow with the help of artist Andrea Sorrentino and then went on to Marvel to write arcs for many fan favorites.  Lemire is also responsible for the creator owned, Descender, which is the recipient of constant critical praise.  Though, he has had much success in  writing, Lemire is known for having a very distinct art style.  With Royal City, Lemire both writes and illustrates this series that steps away from superheroes and more towards Essex County.

This issue: Royal City follows the 5 members of the Pike family and their lives in the dying factory town of Royal City.  Events bring struggling author Patrick Pike back Royal City to deal with the challenges of both his struggling siblings, his overbearing mother and beaten down father.  Each member of this family is haunted by select memories of youngest sibling Tommy.  The thing is Tommy is no longer among the living.

Final Decision:

Jeff Lemire understands the struggles of family and what it means to live in a small town.  Royal City is a unique study of both family and the dying blue collar town that revolves around a familiar trauma.  Their is something eery and haunting about this story that has yet to unfold. The first issue is a double sized issue which allows Lemire to build the story at the right pace vs. having to add a crazy hook.  Lemire’s art leans more towards cartoon than comics, and for some reason is always at it’s best when he is bringing his own stories to life.  There is enough depth and content here to work without superheroes or science fiction.  With so much untapped content and in depth character development this a series that can work and work well.

Highlights:

  • $4.99 gets you 50+ pages
  • Lemiere pours his heart out in book/post letter
  • This is NOT a slice of life book!
  • Lemiere’s art compliments Lemiere’s words best
  • Provided set list of his inspiration to listen to as you read
    • Yes I have made this playlist for my own enjoyment on Spotify

The Breakdown

With great power comes great responsibility, which is why I read and write about comics. Beats running around in spandex.

Senior Editor, TMStash.

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