THE STORY: The debut issue of Throwaways opens with a definition in white against a black backdrop. “Throwaway-…a disposable asset…assassin meant to die alongside their target.” That simple definition is the perfect port in which to inject the audience into the world of Dean Logan and Abigail Palmer.
Abigail, a PTSD riddled former Ranger, is activated as a sleeper agent, at a time in which the last constructs of her fragile life are shattered. A former brother-in-arms, also a sleeper agent, effectively self terminates his mission and his life, opening her eyes to an existence she didn’t know she was a part of. An unknown voice on the other end of a cell phone becomes her saving grace, warning her of incoming agents while being less than forthcoming about his or her identity or motivations. Dean is the self-depricating punk-rock son of a paranoid conspiracy theorist and terrorist, killed by the FBI, who is trying to live as normal a life as possible. A task made almost impossible by his unwanted notoriety and inherited infamy, short temper, and the onset of seizure inducing migraines heralding the development of latent meta-human abilities.
The unfamiliar pair find themselves forced into a role of dual combatants with the mutual goal of self preservation through the loosest sense of cooperation. An unknown and well armed agency are out to kill Abigail, capture Dean, and cover up a black ops program of experiments on unwilling soldiers at a place called Camp Cheshire. No one is what they seem in this story. From the homeless guy on the corner to the doting girlfriend, if you are living in this world you have a secret.
THE SCRIBE: While not a name you will likely have heard thrown around in regular comic shop banter, Caitlin Kittredge is by no means an unknown in the realm of writing and literature. Having penned several fantasy novels, Kittredge hit the mainstream scene of comics with her 2013 title Coffin Hill from Vertigo. If her current work is any indication of her growing abilities, she will soon find her name being tossed around with the likes of Cullen Bunn, Tom King, and Gail Simone. What she has crafted in “Throwaways” is a multi-facited drama which leaves the readers begging the questions of W
ho, What, When, Where, and Why in all of the right ways. There are no set borders in the tropes of this story. It’s equal parts spy adventure, supernatural thriller, love story, and commentary of the current social temperature that is ever present in today’s reality. Caitlin delivers the types of perfectly flawed characters that this type of script needs, and somehow makes their unique situations relatable to readers with even the most limited of life experiences. One complaint, if any, is that Kitteredge could have facilitated a smoother transition from flashback to “real time” with a simple text box, but that is a fault that is equally shared with the editorial staff at Image.
THE STYLE: Steven Sanders art in this book is nothing short of inspired. From his thick but fluid outlines, to his muted colors throughout, Sanders beautifully and accurately gives structure to Kittredge’s script. It is extremely rare to see this level of talent from someone so early in his career and with so few credits to his name. There is little point in waxing poetic about what Sanders has done with this book, as there is nothing that could be said that will adequately do justice how the artist bears his soul on the page. Fans of Fiona Staples art and Jordan Belaire’s colors will find themselves at home as Sanders combines both and stamps his own personal flair to it.
Again, if I have to nit-pick, Sanders has to pay attention to how his details transfer throughout the book. In several panels, the Black Flag label is left off of Dean’s shirt in unobstructed close ups. This is a detail that has to be constant throughout as it is directly related to his character basis and a viewpoint into his personality, as much so as his hair. Once again, this fault has to be equally share with the editorial staff. It was too easy of a fix not to notice.
THE SENTENCE: This book gets a giant, blood red A+ stamp complete with smiley face sticker. As an opening chapter, it gives a near perfect introduction, outlining a world that sucks you in and leaves you begging for the trade right now. Kittredge and Sanders are a force to be reckoned with and if the ongoing story follows the same tone and excitement as the debut, this is a book that will be followed with religious conviction. Pick up two copies.