Mayday #1-4 : Review of the Entire Series

Last week, Black Mask concluded their four-issue series Mayday. Because of the excellent comic We Can Never Go Home, we always try to read anything Black Mask sends us. Unfortunately, it seems that something always gets in the way of writing reviews. I became bound and determined to review Mayday, and refreshing my memory, read the entire series again in one sitting.

WARNING: There might be spoilers, despite my best efforts not to let anything slip. The preview also contains language that some might deem harsh.

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Artists: Chris Peterson (issues #1-2) Alex Diotto & Chris Peterson (issues #3-4)
Writer: Curt Pires
Colors: Pete Toms (issues #1-2) Dee Cunniffe (issues #3-4)

A washed-up, drug-addicted screenwriter and a transgender bartender stumble onto a Satanic cult’s plan to sacrifice people all across LA (geomapped in the form of a pentagram, of course) and bring on Armageddon. As our intrepid, damaged heroes embark on a suicide mission to stop the crazy cultists, even they wonder if this is all really happening or if they’re just plain crazy. Probably both. The latest project from Curt Pires sees him teaming with art sensation Chris Peterson for a story that cuts to the very center of Hollywood mythology and depravity itself.

Preview of Issue #4:

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Mayday is a story in search of it’s own ending. By the end, it seems as if the straight-forward, slightly mystical story has arrived at an impasse and is seeking an ending among meta references. However, this story starts off with a screenwriter trying to find a story, and it ends with that writer finding it, and all along, we have been reading that story. So, if you read the last issue of Mayday without completely re-reading everything before it, you may get lost. You may get angry. Do yourself a favor and do as I did, sit down and read all four issues of Mayday from start to finish.

There is one excellent aspect that I want to point out to you. One of the best parts of this story is the revelation that the character Kleio is transgender. It gets dropped and never makes a difference in the story, except to explain the character’s attitude, both before the revelation and after. I can’t recall the last time that happened.

The artwork is deceptively simple, keeping the story as the focus. The colors stay out of the way as well. Chris Petersen is able to draw a James Dean that doesn’t have to introduce himself, even though the name gets dropped. Chris Petersen is one of those artists that can be given a bizarre story and keep the reader feel completely engaged and perfectly grounded.

I really recommend that you read this series. If you can’t get it from your local comic shop, then order it directly from the publisher, or get it digitally. The series has been optioned for a TV series, so this series may get very popular, very soon.