Writer: Eric Stephenson/ Art: Simon Gane / Image Comics
When I picked up the first issue of They’re Not Like Us from Image comics last month, I knew I had my hands on something special.
The series opened up with a sense of mystery and all of a sudden you’re introduced to this group of special people with special powers under special circumstances. What makes this different than your usual super-powered teen comic book? It’s realness.
They’re Not Like Us tells the story of a group of gifted people with a wide variety of mental abilities that vary in level of familiarity. Some have the ability to project images into the minds of others or listen to their thoughts. Others have somehow manipulated their mental abilities to give them what appears to be super-speed or a sense of invincibility. And, for right now, we just don’t have any idea what else there is out there.
The character that’s stuck out to me most goes by the moniker of “The Voice,” the mastermind of this group of society’s most gifted rejects. To get a good grasp on what this character appears to be about so far, imagine taking the extremist tendencies and “it’s me against the world” sensibilities of X-Men’s Magneto and combine them with the abilities and inclination to teach of Professor Charles Xavier.
The first issue set the groundwork of explaining who these people are and how they got there. The second issue focuses on displaying what they actually do. Maintaining the same sense of mystery from the first issue, we see the characters assault a stranger on the street for what appears to be for no reason at all other than a quick come up on a wallet, smartphone and some vintage headphones. But one thing that I’m guessing we’ll see often in this series is that there’s a reason for absolutely everything.
There’s still no clear picture on where the main characters fall on the line of right versus wrong, but that’s what makes it more human. Perhaps we’ll get a better idea of their intentions once a strong source of conflict presents itself. But for now, it’s interesting seeing this universe be created and represent the human condition on such a transparent level.