451 Media: NVRLND: Issue 1 Short Review
SEX, DUST, & ROCK-N-ROLL
451 Entertainment's newest comic, NVRLND, has taken a classic and updated it. The writing/creator duo of Stephanie Salyers and Dylan Mulick have taken the timeless tale of Peter Pan and injected it with a hefty dose of the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll underground music scene of the modern era.
With art by Leila Leiz (colors by Thomas Chu), the issue starts off with a bang and keeps up the pace the whole way through. It's bright and colorful, clean line work, and a great flow of panels.
SECOND STAR TO THE RIGHT
In NVRLND's updated take on the material they've made the ever-selfish Peter the promiscuous lead singer in a band called The Lost Boys that play at his club Neverland, Wendy is the new girl in town, and Hook is a drug dealing tattoo artist with some kind of obsessive fetish for under-aged girls. Other familiar names like Tinkerbell appear, but no Crocodile or Mr. Smee yet.
The leader of the tattoo-covered Pirates gang, James Hook, has begun distributing a new drug called Pixie Dust- complete with magically glowing sparkles- to kids at Peter's club making them believe they can fly. This leads to a quickly escalating body count and Wendy's father is the new District Attorney brought in to try and get to the bottom of this case and stop the deaths. This side-story actually adds a secondary level of intrigue in the form of a detective murder mystery. On the other hand, Peter knows that Hook is up to something in a kind of revenge, perhaps tied to the loss of his right arm.
We get a lot of small teases for what is to come- including a possible explanation ties to what the Pixie Dust might be made from if you look closely. The creators have set up numerous great plot threads to follow through this four issue series, and they're all well enough done to please different types of readers.
It's a bit messy at times, rapidly jumping from place to place, like the inexplicable hatred Tiger Lily has for Wendy and their initial fight-to-friends in a page seems to come out of absolutely no where, or the fact that Wendy's hair appears to change colors at times, but the story itself has something at it's core that really works. There's something magical here that is very enjoyable and keeps me invested. It's a completely new take on something we are all familiar with twisted into something much more sinister- but it's also done in a way that isn't easily dismissed. NVRLND is a truly unique dark re-imagining that does something special with the idea of staying forever young. They've made a great first issue and the 4 issue limited series offers a ton of promise. I'd definitely recommend this.
*Review copy provided by 451 Entertainment, Thank you!!!