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27 #1 – Review

William Garland is a music God. After years of struggling
through all the music industry clichés Will and his band play a sold out show
for twenty-two thousand fans at the Staples Center in L.A. A year later Will is
practically broke and travels from doctor to doctor to fix his left hand. As a
guitarist his left hand is his fret hand and there for his most important of the two.
He went from having magic fingers to being dropped by his label and sued by his
band mates.

Will has literally traveled the world looking for a Doctor
that can fix his hand, but it has finally come down to one last experimental
doctor that’s willing to take the last of his money to fix him. He meets
him in a dark and seedy warehouse where he’s strapped into an apparatus that
the “doctor”, one Hargrave Swinthe has created. Hargrave hooks the device up to
nine cats and explains to Will the cats have a strong association with the
number nine. Nine lives times nine cats equals 81 and eight plus one equals
nine. Hargrave then undresses himself to reveal a tribal body tattoo and
prepares to be a part of the experiment as well. He flips the switch to the
device and electricity shoots through the two men and the cats.

27 #1 CoverThe next scene we see several different panels representing
two different characters. The first is the Nine an entity that is associated
with creativity and has been known to accept gifts in exchange for favors. The
second entity is Erebus or Twenty-seven and he is the counter balance to the
Nine; without each other neither one can exist. The Nine receives
Hargrave’s gift and is ready to give
Will his hand back, but Erebus is quick to point out that the energy is
actually from cats and have been dressed up like caviar. The Nine instantly
wants to kill them both, but then Erebus wouldn’t get any of that precious
energy that’s been put into Will. Unsure with what to do with it then Erebus
suggest that the Nine be creative
with it.

Will wakes up in the warehouse the only one left in one
piece. He aches all over as he wakes up and finds an apparatus that’s been
installed in his chest. It looks like a mini-amplifier and has all sorts of
knobs on it. Before leaving Will calls the cops to let them know that a man has
died in the warehouse, that man being Hargrave. He doesn’t stick around for the
cops and takes off home. His sister calls him freaking out about a hostage
situation, but Will doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do about it. He tires
playing to no prevail and figures what
the hell
and clicks on the device attached to his chest. Suddenly his hand doesn’t
hurt and he feels perfect. He calls his agent and tells him he can play again
and continues playing with the feeling of happiness that has been absent for year.

After a while his hand tweeks out again and he can’t play
anymore without server pain like before. He laches out in anger and destroys
his TV. With the shattered glass he finds himself making a sculpture.  After finishing the sculpture he clicks the
button three more times in complete and total anger; until the ghost of
Hargrave appears before him telling him to stop.

This comic is one of those rare occurrences that comes along
every few years and is just magical. The concept and execution of this book are
phenomenal and even though I didn’t buy into the hype of it selling out, I do
believe that it’s worth of all the praise and high sales it’s received since.
The comic itself is in the magazine stock that Image has become found of with
other books like Cowboy Ninja Viking and
ironically enough also Viking which is a different series.

27 #1 2nd Print CoverWhen you boil down the story it’s a musician that’s talented,
but needs his talent back. He makes a deal and now might not live past
twenty-seven like several other great musicians. At first glance the idea
actually sounds pretty stupid, but then most things do. Take Fantastic Four for
example, space travelers become exposed to cosmic
radiation and then begin exploring the world defeating evil. If you didn’t
know better you would never pick up that book. With Twenty-Seven this simple concept becomes unique and amazing in the
world of comics.

What really drives the story and makes it interesting is the
narration from Will. The way he recaps his life and the events leading up to
everything is so short and clean that you linger on his every word. Nothing he
tells you is irrelevant or boring, but a fascinating view into his world.
Writer Charles Soule does extensive research to make sure that this book is
very realistic and accurate. He flexes his music knowledge throughout the
series and does a great job of laying the ground work in this first issue.

I will say that ninety percent of people will instantly hate
the art. Personally I love the style, but could have done with a bit more
consistency with Will. He’s really the only character that comes across as
being all over the place. The penciling consists of thick lines and looks very
graffiti/cartoony. Yet it is a very dark looking book with a lot of ink work
and black surrounding each page. Artist Renzo Podesta is a great colorist and
that is what makes his art great. Several panels have a color theme that is only
in that panel, but works to make the scene powerful and beautiful to look at.
Renzo’s panel set up is also quite powerful as he uses close ups to express the
intensity of a scene, then a long shot to establish a conversation that runs
through the splash page. Again, a lot of people will be put off by the art, but
it’s really good and works with the story and that’s the important thing.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a first print of this book in
an actual comic shop. You may be able to find a second print, but even then
you’re probably better off checking the internet. There’s a reason that this
book is hard to find, it’s super surprisingly good. I think that a lot of
people heard about the concept and thought that’s
cute
, but then after they read it they saw just how incredible it really
is. Is it perfect? No, but it’s damn close and definitely worthy of the score.

Overall Score – 9.9/10

Rating
9.9

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