Title: Royal City # 6
Words: Jeff Lemire
Art: Jeff Lemire
Colors: Jeff Lemire
Letters: Steve Wands
Publication Date: October 11, 2017
Publisher’s Summary: “SONIC YOUTH,” Part One The second arc of JEFF LEMIRE’s bestselling, critically acclaimed new series takes a major shift as the story jumps back to the year 1993, and we follow the last week in the life of Tommy Pike! Meet the Pike siblings when they were all just teenagers in the ’90s, and the tragedy that will come to haunt their family is still in the future. Each issue in this arc will feature a special variant cover paying homage to some of the best indie rock albums of the 1990s, featuring stellar artwork by JEFFREY BROWN (Jedi Academy), EMI LENOX (PLUTONA), NATE POWELL (March), RAY FAWKES (UNDERWINTER), and DUSTIN NGUYEN (DESCENDER).”
This issue gives us a flashback to the time when the family was only beginning to get seriously messed up. They are together and relatively healthy and secure, but the cracks are beginning to form. The old man’s job isn’t going well. The mom has a wandering eye. Richie is a beginner reprobate. Tara has boy trouble. We know it won’t end well for Tommy, but maybe, just maybe Pat will make it out somehow.
With solid characters and realistic family dynamics, Lemire shows the madness of the ordinary and the hopelessness of the mundane. There is emotional depth and complex relationships. Still, as depressing as this all may seem, these are people we can care about.
The realistic line drawings and muted colors make the book scream that it wants to be taken seriously. Anything less sedate, though, would take away from the tone.
he realistic line drawings and muted colors, makes the book scream that it wants to be taken seriously. Anything less sedate, though, would take away from the tone.
This early in the arc, it is hard to tell who is worth caring about, but Tommy is certainly central and the heartbreak is sure to come. This is a genuine tragedy, but we’ve yet to be shown heroics.