Story/Art/Colors/Letters: Juan Doe:
What They Say:
The most intimate wedding reception of the century has started, and all the guests are suffering a bad case of nomophobia (a.k.a. “no-mobile-phone phobia”). But things get real in a hurry when the mysterious killer sets off a frenzy that drives the remaining guests into a world of unknown primal fear. Now they must learn to depend on each other if they are to survive the hunt.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of Bad Reception was a pretty fun book overall as Juan Doe got his first work out where he handled pretty much all of the main duties on it, including the writing. I like the approach of it with the focus on the technology side to introduce us to the core cast and set the mood for their connected lives. Giving us them without the tech dominates this installment and it’s a far more verbose work, for better and worse. But it’s also a beautiful looking book as Doe’s designs are just the best. I love the variety in his characters, the mannerisms that come through them, and the colors that brings the whole thing to life in a really moody and atmospheric way.
With the wedding itself done and the priest blindfolded and heading by helicopter out of this secret location, the reception is now fully underway. There are some lengthy speeches, such as from Gaia’s estranged father who has his own machinations here, and a lot of people gauging each other. With the social media side being dominant in their lives, it’s amusing watching the preening and dominance being thrown about. With Gaia being near a billion, her manager is definitely someone living in rarefied space and completely acts that way with others that are looking for a little help or a connection to be made. The jockeying is amusing and those that aren’t all that into it, such as the director whose story with his name being similar to Darren Aranofsky makes for some amusing moments. But it is filled with a lot of dialogue that almost gets you to tune out.
While the book shifts gears to everyone hanging outside together with the pig roast, we get to see the first murder finally come to life after the promise of it all in the first. With some sniping going on there, we see how the photographer that was hired is developing the pictures only to end up dead with a spike through his eye. It’s a little confusing in how it plays out whether this is a supernatural element coming to life in the room but it plays out well in really creating some tension and uncertainty. That Gaia’s manager discovers him, looking for reception on the phone she brought in, and Gaia’s father as well with a camera looking to score some pictures to sell for money, it’s like the worst people to discover it. They’re wanting to end the reception itself but at the same time both are now working together to profit from it.
Bad Reception continues to play well even though it gets a little bogged down in the dialogue that feels more like exposition at times. There are a number of characters to get to know and this is a tried and true way of filling people in as the bodies start dropping so it’s definitely familiar. Juan Doe’s work is pretty great across the board with wonderful color work that really is striking when combined with the beautiful character designs that won me over ages ago. I’m a huge fan of his style and excited to see where his creative side will go with the leap into writing as well. This continues to be a great start.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comics
Release Date: September 25th, 2019