Coming in September from Dark Horse is Buzzkill, a comic about a superhero who gains his powers from abusing drugs and alcohol. It’s a story of addiction and possibly redemption from Donny Cates, Mark Reznicek, and Geoff Shaw. It takes the hero from superpowered and invincible to small and fragile, but his enemies won’t stop.
With issue one, the readers finds Reuben, the name given to the hero, attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to talk about his problems. Initially giving up on the idea, Reuben is lured back into the group through a promise of hot chocolate. As he shares with the group, more about his past, how his powers came to manifest, and the event that drove him to seek help is revealed. The discussion takes Reuben from a confident, cocky man to one that is obviously dealing with some heavy issues. It’s after the meeting that things really begin to change, as both heroes and villains are brought into the mix, both sides interested in Reuben’s recovery.
With the germ of an idea coming from Mark Reznicek and a bit of refinement from Donny Cates, Buzzkill is an interesting story. Drugs and alcohol can obviously make a person feel like they have superpowers, but what if they actually gave them powers? Cates and Reznicek handles it in a serious and respectful way, giving addiction the treatment it needs. The dialogue feels genuine, making the conversations read that much better. While this issue is really just a taste of the story, it’s enough to set up the idea of a man either living or dying by his addiction and the heavy choice he’ll have to make.
Geoff Shaw’s art is great at setting the mood of the scene. Whether it’s the few more action-oriented pages in this issue or the many more quiet and reserved pages, Shaw has a way of capturing the feelings of the characters. As Reuben sits in the circle and retells his story, the reader can see the anguish and pain on his face as he recounts his mistakes and those he’s hurt. The amount of expression that Shaw’s art has helps make the comic something top notch.
Though it’s still a month out, Buzzkill is definitely something to watch. It’s a story that handles a serious topic in a great way, but is also created by lovers of comics. If the things in store for Reuben are any indication, the series is quickly going to heat up and have a host of great characters. Be sure to look for it when it hit stores September 18th.