Swan Songs #1 Review
Swan Songs #1 Review
Written by: W. Maxwell Prince
Art by: Martin Simmonds
Published by: Image Comics
W. Maxwell Prince has done it again. Plain and simple. Swang Songs #1 brings the famed one-shot formula and explores how things end. In what can be such a simplistic conceptual setting, Prince has teamed up with an ensemble of artists to explore this in a brand-new way and Swan Songs has set a high bar for the upcoming issues as it explores the end of the world.
Before we jump into it, here’s a short premise of what the series will entail:
SWAN SONGS comprises stories about endings…The End of the World. The End of a Marriage. The End of a Sentence. The End of the End of the World! (Which I suppose one might consider the BEGINNING of a new world…)
And along for the terminal ride are some of comics’ best and brightest artists! The first apocalyptic issue “The End of the World”
Swan Songs see a son and his mother, who’s suffering from renal failure in the midst of an apocalypse, and their bond over gardening magazines. This could very well be representative of life amongst the decrepit remnants of this world but I’ll leave that up to interpretation and as the reader, you can make of that what you want. The issue carries a very stoic tone as talks of life before the apocalypse fill the dense air of nothingness we see in each panel.
The artwork is something that left me floored as it gives a smoky and almost charred look. It really pulls at you and brings you into the grim and depressing life of these characters as memories of past conversations with a therapist seem to be the small inkling of hope that keeps their sanity intact. The most genius part of this issue is the furtive inclusion of the countdown.
As we traverse through the beaten town, we see a countdown showing up in panels as we read through to the end. What comes of it is something you will have to find out when you read it but it was a very unnerving and yet satisfying conclusion to see when the countdown hits zero.
Swan Songs takes a premise that readers have seen before and gives it life in a world where life has been stripped clean which is an admirable thing to be able to do. The connection of a mother and son and the lengths we go to find some sort of sanity in the darkest parts of our world is explored on a deep level here.
Plants and flowers seemingly being the essence of life itself are the bright light and color found in this issue which sees life completely void as we read through this story in what looks like the weathered pages of someone’s personal journal recounting their very last moments and the thoughts that plagued their mind as they spent the last final moments with their loved one and clinging to the last and most simple of joys left in the world.
This is not your average comic or story and if you happen to find this issue in your hands be prepared to be taken on one of the most profound comic journeys that you have been on this year.
A variety geek who enjoys geeking out with friends over video games, comics, or movies/TV shows. An avid wrestling fan since the days of WWE No Mercy, he now spends much of his time reading and collecting comics. All my puns are intended.