"The Normals" #1 from Aftershock -
As of a few hours ago, Jack Normal considered himself a very lucky guy. Although he was no great shakes, he'd managed to nail down a great job, score himself a gorgeous wife, and father two wonderful, well-adjusted kids. Jack's only worry was that his son, Aiden, wasn't growing like Jack felt he should - other than that, life was pretty sweet. But that was earlier. Now, Jack is scrambling to understand why his son had an electrical wire hanging out of the back of his head after a fall, and why no one in the small eastern town he and his wife grew up in remembers them. Their parents, gone. Their childhood homes, owned by strangers. Their friends and neighbors, either long gone or without any memory of Jack and Mary Normal. Jack took his family home seeking sanctuary and solace, but what he finds is a mystery so frightening that it threatens to unravel the very threads of his family's existence. The Normal family is about to discover that they are everything but...Normal.
Adam Glass pens this weird sci-fi mystery, "The Normals" #1. Glass starts is out very right: great characterizations, lots of exposition in the captions while the story moves forward in the panels, a great set-up with the Normals' yuppified, sunshine-filled life, and then an unexpected gut-punch as everything enters an uneasy world steeped in the fantastic. This book is a bit like a "Brady Bunch" / "Blade Runner" mash-up and has the potential to develop into a very interesting sci-fi / mystery / suspense thriller. The story is an intriguing concept; however, I couldn't help but notice that in some ways the story felt very pedestrian and generic - that is NOT to say that it was not enjoyable - it has some pretty tense and gripping moments, but it is light on action, and the characters are just quite bland. Then again, maybe that is the whole idea of "The Normals" - they don't stand out, they look like us, talk like us, seem like us, but just below the surface is something wholly unimaginable. A very cool concept. Dennis Calero's pencils are expressive (if a bit stiff at times), yet, often they are overpowered by Adriano Augusto's super-rich colors. With that said, all in all, "The Normals" #1 is a solid first issue to a possibly great series that seems made to be translated to a T.V. show. I'll stick around for issue #2 to see if Glass picks up the pace.
RATING: 7.5 out of 10.
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