We check out another new Comic from Heavy Metal’s comic imprint, Magma Comix, as the first issue of Never Never hits the shelves. Created by Mark McCann and Phil Buckenham, this is a story of a young girl invited to a magical place, only to find her host is not all he’s hinted at being. But can this comic give readers enough of a hook, and will it leave them plenty of happy thoughts?
Publisher: Heavy Metal/Magma Comix
Writer: Mark McCann, Peter Duncan (editor)
Artist: Phil Buckenham (art), Agnese Pozza (colours), David Withers (letters), Christopher Lair (cover art)
Price: $3.99 from Heavy Metal Store
Never Never tells the story of Winter, a young lady struggling to cope with her life as she watches her mother cope with ongoing illness. However, respite is offered to her in the form of the mysterious boy, Petros, who gives her the chance to escape by going with him to the mysterious Never Never. Unfortunately, once they arrive, Winter discovers that all she had been promised was not true as her opportunity for escape becomes a battle of survival on a dystopian island and from vicious band of urchins.
Writer Mark McCann has written an intriguing story set within an enthralling world, one which warps the tale of Peter Pan in a manner similar to David Pepose’s O.Z. McCann’s plot opens much like an updated version of the H.M. Barrie classic, but quickly transforms from fantasy to horror as it quickly becomes very Lord of the Flies-esque. McCann brings across the feeling of panic really well as Winter struggles to understand what is going on in this unusual world. However, it is in the depiction of Petros where McCann’s writing really shines as he turns the characterisation we know on its head, producing a truly vile and terrifying force of nature. As the issue draws to a close, the revelations regarding Petros actions leave the readers intrigue ever increasing with the questions of what happens next and, especially, who exactly is Winter?
Meanwhile, artist Phil Buckenham produces some beautiful art for this issue, with his pencil stylr very reminiscent of Emma Vieceli’s work on Breaks. However, unlike with Breaks, once the story arrives at Never Never, Buckenham imbues everything with a very creepy, almost decaying look. This is best exemplified by the after battle scenes as Petros ‘handles’ his enemies and his ‘lost boys’ are attacked, culminating in a truly chilling Wall of heads. This look is enhanced by Agnese Pozza’ colours, whose work is reminiscent of Marcelo Maiolo’s work on Demon Knights gives it a toned down look to further the grim, creepy vibe.
Never Never is wonderfully macabre tale full of intrigue as McCann, Buckenham et al. provide us a comic that has some brutal characters and an even more brutal locale. These things, coupled with questions posed by the end will have you very much tempted to return to Never Never and, fortunately, time won’t stop between issues (at least we hope!).