COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #1 – A Motley Crew | FanboysInc

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #1 – A Motley Crew

By Buddy Beaudoin

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #1 - A Motley Crew

Writer: Rob Williams

Artists: Mike Dowling, Quinton Winter, Clem Robins


Vertigo Comics

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge fan of social media, so when I heard about Unfollow, my natural inclination was to just decide that it was going to be bad. That was silly of me. Rob Williams wins the day, yet again.

Unfollow, um, follows the events surrounding the dying wishes of an internet mogul. Just like in the real world, someone invented a way for people to complain about celebrities and share fart jokes in 140 characters or less, and unfortunately for that guy, he’s got cancer. His last wish is for his team to split up his billions among 140 seemingly random people, giving them about 150 million dollars each. I, for one, would be stoked.

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #1 - A Motley Crew

Unfollow #1 (2016) – Page 16

Several, but not all, of the character introductions take place with a tweet, which is a pretty slick way of giving the reader a heads up. It’s reminiscent of a Guy Ritchie film, or of a lot of modern television shows that incorporate text chat bubbles.

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We don’t learn a whole lot about the characters in the 22 pages of the story, but you definitely get enough to keep you interested. The story starts with, what I’m assuming, is an event to happen later in the series with a nice wrap up. At first, It’s not absolutely clear as to what is happening, but what Williams gives you is more than enough to pique an interest, as the first character you meet is murdered almost instantly by someone in Zulu war mask (or something like that).

From there, were thrown into what seems like the true start of the story. We meet a gang of thugs, led by a young man named Dave, about to rob a cellphone store of their newest model of phone. That whole thing lasts for about three seconds, when somehow all of the phones start turning on with the same greeting: “Hello, Dave.” To make things even spookier, as the rest of the gang books it out of there, Dave is greeted at the glass door by a leopard – the big cat kind – who gives him an omen. What I’m thinking, or what I’m hoping, is that this is Dave’s spirit animal. Man, I love spirit animals.

From there, we get airborne with a pill popping thrill seeker named Courtney, or @CourtneyOMG. It seems Courtney has a little vendetta against her rich father, and decides to jump out of a plane, landing to announce on live television that she is giving all of her trust fund to a young kid with cerebral palsy. It all works out, and she is toted as a hero, only to be told a few panels later that she was announced as one of the 140. This girl can’t get poor fast enough.

We are transported to Iran, where we meet a totally nude social justice journalist named Ravan, recording a message to the world as she shaves her head. She is speaking out against the injustice of the current regime in Tehran, and the public execution of a young girl and many others like her. Just as it seems she’s about to end her own life, her phone lights up with the 140 logo, indicating what I can only guess is that she’s been chosen as well.

The story slides back into Dave, as we see him taking public transport playing around with his phone. Just as before, his phone lights up with a personal message, only this time the internet mogul’s face appears to tell him that he is indeed rich now, and that he will be flown to a private island to discuss matters personally with the dying billionaire. This Dave guy has everything!

COMIC REVIEW: Unfollow #1 - A Motley Crew

Unfollow #1 (2016) – Page 21

Our story concludes with my favorite scene – the introduction of a long haired, bearded man, in a room full of guns talking to God. In all of my days on Earth, I have never heard of that scenario ending well for anyone involved. I’m for sure intrigued to see where that leads, and really, where the rest of all of this leads as the first issue of Unfollow sets up one hell of a story.

The “Best There Is:” Rob William’s writing is masterful. Everyone, everywhere, everyday, uses social media so the events of this book could absolutely be planted in reality. It inspires daydreams of what this might look like if it were to happen in real life, and what those 140 people would do with their new found wealth. Mike Dowling’s art is realistic and believable, which adds to the elements that would allow for this to be a real life story. The whole experience is pretty immersive, even with the narration lettering done in basically Twitter boxes with the appropriate font.

The “Not Very Nice:” As I said with Gail Simone’s Clean Room, Stories that have so much set up at the beginning make me nervous that we might never see the full payoff. If William’s recent writing is any indication of what is to come, I may not have much to worry about, but it’s a lot of faith to put in a creator on a new series in an industry that’s incredibly saturated. The competition is heavy.
FBI Score: 9 out of 10: I loved Unfollow. I was pleasantly surprised to love Unfollow. Everything about this book works so well, and teases you just enough to keep you interested, but without really spoiling anything that they’re setting up. The creative team should be proud of the effort put into this book, and Vertigo should keep promoting the heck out it. Indie creators, take note. Well done.

Buddy Beaudoin

Buddy Beaudoin is a writer and independent comic creator from Upstate, NY. He's a fan of tea, spacey music, and a nice pair of slacks. He LOVES comics. Batman, Swamp Thing, and Jonah Hex are some favorites, but he's also a pretty big fan of the indies. Should you ever need him, walk outside and yell his name loudly...

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