Story: Adam Glass
Art: Diego Yapur
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
What They Say:
Nick knows he’s no hero, so he says thanks to the Lollipop Kids for all of the bad memories, and heads out of the park, back to his old, safe, boring life. But something follows Nick, a GREMLIN named EXPO. Nick almost kills Expo, but FRESNO stops him and explains that the Gremlin is on their side, not all monsters are evil. Fresno gives Nick one last chance to join their ranks and to fulfill his destiny, but Nick’s soiled pants tell him all he needs to know. Nick leaves again, but soon he stumbles upon something much worse than a gremlin—and this time NOBODY is coming to his rescue.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of Lollipop Kids was one that was certainly intriguing and a little different with what it did. The heavy narration focus and singular approach through Nick worked well even if it felt like an unconventional choice but it told the story of someone who was certainly self-aware as life had made him that way for a lot of reasons. Adam Glass handled it really well with the script as it gave us some really strong bonds to connect with and understand. Diego Yapur also delivered on the artwork in a great way with a really neat look at the city, the characters, and then the things that go bump in the night.
Nick’s getting involved with the Lollipop Kids isn’t something that he wants but was willing to deal with in the moment. Now that the danger is passed all he wants is to get away and that’s hard for the others to understand. But the simple reality is that Nick has to find Mia, something that’s reinforced well over the issue as we see more of the bond the two share because of their lack of feeling like they belong anywhere. As Nick says, he’s too black to be white and too white to be black and that keeps him at a distance from both communities that he’s dealt with. Mia is the only one that he knows that understands this and it shows that bond well with what they’ve faced and how they’ve always backed each other up – though Mia like backed him up a lot more for obvious reasons of age difference alone.
What Nick does get here is some background from Fresno as she helps him leave the protected area that they’re in. She wants to convert him to being one of them but realizes that he’s not going to be open to that without a bit more background (and settling things with Mia). We get some good background on the group going back to the Revolutionary War with how it became focused on kids dealing with the monsters, why they forget when they turn eighteen, and that both of Nick’s parents were Lollipop Kids, making him even rarer because of that. We do get a little time with a creature named Expo that Fresno sent to watch Nick and that gives us a taste of the way everything is set up and Nick’s own sensitivity to them as well.
It’s a lot of reveals that are packaged well in its presentation that still has Nick keeping to the side of it just enough where you’re almost frustrated by his lack of interest but understand because of his desire to find his sister. I continue to find Nick to be one of the best fleshed out kids in comics right now, even after two issues, as there’s just a grounded reality here that works so well. The concept is working well and I’m hopeful that it’s going to get enough of a run to really explore some of it since there’s so much that can be done here just in the here and now, never mind exploring different periods of time for extended runs and stories to weave something bigger. It’s a great looking book and I can’t wait to revisit it in larger chunks as well in the future.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: November 21st, 2018