Buzzkill #1 Review

A superhero who derives his power by drinking alcohol the more the better but also the more dangerous. A unique take on a superhero’s source of power that’s well worth your time.

Official description from DARK HORSE:
Ruben is not your average alcoholic; he’s an unstoppable superhero who derives his powers from imbibing MASSIVE amounts of alcohol. After all the disasters it’s caused in his personal life, he’s ready to get clean . . . and the city’s supervillains couldn’t be happier!

Buzzkill is Dark Horse Comics latest new title from writers Donny Cates, who handles the plot and script, and Toadies drummer Mark Reznicek who is also credited with plot. This wasn’t a book that was on my radar this week but I am sure glad I picked it up. The cover by artist Geoff Shaw alone was enough to give pause before opening it up and diving in. The image of a superhero looking out over his city, smoking a cigarette and drinking from a bottle as the city skyline comes into view made up entirely of liquor bottles. The image is striking as was enough to give me a good feeling before reading a single word.

It was all uphill from there. The story revolves around Ruben who is attending an AA meeting. He struggles with his sharing time at first because he feels he doesn’t have a problem with liquor as it transforms him into a superhero. Ruben walks out but is persuaded by the head of the group to back and share. If not for himself for those who need to it. He tells a tale of a time in high school and a time in college that resulted in lots of drinking and the death of many of his friends. He never comes out and says he has superpowers only that drinking affected him in ways he never knew possible.

The art tells a more detailed look into Ruben’s stories and while it’s not crystal clear we do find out that because of his drinking he can’t remember details and that his powers are also extremely dangerous to others around him. It’s obvious though that his destructive capabilities are off the chart. Cates’ pacing is brisk, and for a story that’s low on action, it says a lot about Cates skill as a writer. He throws in at the end some head scratching plot twists. One has to do with the head of the AA group and his special skills as a spy and Ruben’s run in with a fellow hero who he has to convince that he’s doing what’s best by getting clean.

Geoff Shaw’s art is outstanding. I already mentioned the striking cover and the interiors are just as engaging. He has a slight cartoonish flair and is incredibly strong with expressions. His style gives the book strong dynamics and flow and I can’t wait to see what he does with a knock-down, drag-out superhero fight.

Buzzkill is a must-buy this week! The story is strong, the art beautiful and it’s off to a tremendous start. Dark Horse has a gem here and you would be missing out if you don’t pick this title up. This book has so much potential it’s scary. Yes, it’s that good.


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