‘Brilliant Trash’ is set in the days to come ,where a super-powered teenage girl wipes the heavily disputed Old City of Jerusalem from the face of the globe. Now, in American dystopia after the “Lady Last Word Incident”, a click-bait headline writing “journalist” holds the key to a med-tech conspiracy that could turn people into gods for the price of days off their lives. But in a world where news is tailored to every viewpoint, will anyone believe her?
Brilliant Trash #1
Written by: Tim Seeley
Art by: Priscilla Petraites
Colors by: Marco Lesko
Tim Seeley is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades, having written superheroes, horror, spy infused tales and sci-fi. And now in the cyberpunk-ish Brilliant Trash, he has found a way to throw elements from all those genres together and cook up a relevant story that walks the tight-rope line of being both very much of the moment, yet also speculative about what may come as well.
Right from the start, Seeley uses the current 24-hour news cycle nature of the media to grab the reader and bring them into this world he is creating. His mysterious character, Lady Last Word (great name!), addresses the reader in a direct ‘talking head’ news broadcast (think along the lines of V in V For Vendetta). He also cleverly uses Twitter-like feeds to inject humor and satire (an element that positively reminded me of Warren Ellis’ and Darrick Robertson’s Transmetropolitan).
Seeley also chooses to make his protagonists journalists, who more so than ever are probably the closest things we have to crusading investigators. Capricorn and Kennedy are both likable, and their plight draws you suspensefully. They also seem to know as much about what is going on as we do, which is a great narrative device that connects you to the characters. And it’s always great to see more strong, intelligent female characters in comics.
The story itself is pretty complex, dealing with genetic augmentation, terrorism, and religious fanaticism. Heavy topics for what is mostly a superhero comic, but I admire its ambition.
I have to say I was a bit confused at first, but as things started to come together, I started following along better and it all ultimately made sense. Seeley seems to be creating a pretty detailed and intricate story here, and it feels like the kind of thing that will develop slowly and reward those with patience. There’s also plenty of action and a great superpowers fight.
Priscilla Petraites and Marco Lesko create solid visuals that offer clean storytelling and a nice amount of energy. The art follows the pacing of the story, being static and quiet when it needs to, but also opening up in both layout and composition when the action scenes come. There is a nice fight scene in the middle of the issue with some great jagged panels that really stood out and gave the comic a nice sense of style.
Brilliant Trash still needs time to grow and develop its story, but I found this premier issue to hold enough interesting ideas and characters to make me want to continue reading it. If AfterShock continues to add these kinds of genre-bending titles to the medium of comics, they will continue to be a welcome publisher to the sequential art industry.