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You Are Obsolete #1 Review

4 min read
The next generation has a plan.

The next generation has a plan.

Creative Staff:
Story: Mathew Klickstein
Art: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Colors: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Simon Bowland

What They Say:
A disgraced journalist is called to cover a mysterious story on an isolated European island. As she investigates, she discovers the children have taken control and are somehow killing off all adults by their 40th birthdays. Now, she must discover the truth behind the killings while staying on the good side of the children’s harsh leader…or she’s next.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The first series with AfterShock Comics for Mathew Klickstein is one that sets up a pretty interesting premise and it’s something that definitely feels like it’s custom made to be a proper creepy streaming series with its location, characters, and structure. Klickstein is joined by Evgeniy Bornyakov on the art duties and he’s done some really solid books the last few years including his recent work on Descendent for the same publisher. Pairing the two and having the talents of both Lauren Affe on colors and Simon Bowland on letters is spot-on perfect. Newer comics talent working with well established and strong talents is a great way to bring a project together. And You Are Obsolete feels like it has a whole lot of potential based on the first sliver of setup we get here.

While perhaps a touch too tied to presenting dialogue and information through texting and digital avenues, that method certainly feels authentic as we meet ace journalist Lyla as she’s about to embark on something radically different for her career. The setup is solid as we see how prolific and high-profile she was and we also get the allusion toward her fall that came quickly and harshly, leaving her to be drawn into this new mystery. Not detailing her fall is something that I’m sure we’ll cycle back to and that those who employ her here are likely involved with. But just knowing the way her life went from high-flying to a complete crash is presented well through the flashbacks and the nature of the text communications. Putting her into this place of taking anything that comes along, and even pushing back on taking it for a bit, makes it clear how far she’s fallen.

What we see is her drawn to a small place near Estonia where a group of super-smart children have basically orchestrated a grand plan that they want her to help tell their story of. It takes time for Lyla to realize that the children really are running the show, but the hints about how it’s a kind of Logan’s Run set for forty and that the adults in this place are running purely on contained fear is intriguing. The tense nature of the town and their interactions with Lyla has you wanting to see more of just how far they go but also to see if they’re subject to the same intentions when they get older. Lyla hints at the whole plan a bit in how she’s writing all of this as a retrospective so there’s definitely some closure-point coming up in the book that should make for this series to be an intriguing arc.

In Summary:
You Are Obsolete is not a new concept but I’m interested in the approach that Klickstein is taking with it. You can see some potential generational issues to navigate, especially in relation to technology, that might be outdated before it even hit the page, but with it set in the Baltics and playing to a different angle it could all work well in the end. Lyla’s interesting enough from what we get of her but I’m just eager to see more of the town, the children, and how this tension is all handled. Bornyakov is definitely well-suited to handle this project as he’s got some great character designs and captures the feel of the location really well, especially with Affe’s colors for everything. It’s haunting in that kind of original Fargo way in looking at the locations.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: September 18th, 2019
MSRP: $3.99