Saturday, November 18, 2017

Brilliant Trash #1 Review

The Universal

Writer and Creator by: Tim Seeley
Story by: Tim Seeley and Steve Seeley
Art by: Priscilla Petraites
Publisher: Aftershock
Review by: Andrew McAvoy

If there is a more exciting publisher than Aftershock Comics out there at the minute, I haven't found it. A number of their books are on my monthly essentials, but even those haven't come close to the ambition seen in this opening installment of Brilliant Trash. After the first few pages it is clear that this is a book that is going to make readers sing for their supper. Let's see what it is all about.

Well the first thing to say in relation to this book is to caution potential readers. This book doesn't ease you in gently; in fact it is so jam packed with ideas that you will be running to keep up. The art by Priscilla Petraites will help soothe that overworked brain though, and I'm pretty certain that every single element in this issue will be critical to the future issues. The game board is being laid out carefully by Seeley, and you can tell that the different elements are being set up to interact beautifully at a future point. 
The ideas in this book are immense though. By the time I got to the second page I had to go and get a notebook and write down some of the phrases because they are really striking. At the risk of sounding like a psychology textbook this book seems (to me) to be tapping into complex concepts related to the Jungian collective unconscious. It seems to play with ideas related to universal thought patterns and linkages between humans across the globe. There is a suggestion of technological or digital linkages across the globe being depicted as a parallel process. An intriguing comment from one character touches on analogue and digital in a way that suggests the two separate connections between humans (analogue) and technology (digital). Alternatively I could be overthinking it...

The book articulates these thoughts with quotes like, "What I am for is humanity. The whole. When you pull back it's the only natural thing to stand for." and "You hope I am Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Gay, Straight, Black, White, an Immigrant, a Nationalist. I'm none of these things. I'm all of them" These quotes come from Lady Last Word, an enigmatic figure who appears to destroy a large segment of Jerusalem, in what becomes known as the Lady Last Word Incident. The subsequent events in the comic book explore various strands set in a dystopian future America. At the end of the book, it is clear that regardless of whether Lady Last Word has survived the incident, her thoughts and concepts are going to live on through a group of devotees.

Bits and Pieces

I'd be lying if I said that I managed to fully keep up with this issue. I don't mind though. It is a book jam-packed with promise with exciting art, big ideas and intriguing characters. I have no doubt that I will be looking it out for further reads as I digest future installments. Packed with potential.


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