For someone with a love of everything superheroes, I am not that big on comics books. Okay, for a year in high school I tried to be, but it was just way too hard to delve into a comic that had been going on for hundreds of issues already. That mythology is just way too dense, and the basic knowledge of the main character just doesn’t get you as far as it once did. So I gave up.
It wasn’t until Buffy: Season 8 started being issued that I got back into the swing of buying comics on a regular basis, though I just stuck to this title this time around. But occasionally a few graphic novels that were developed around their own world or some one shots would be issued that seemed too cool to pass up. Because I have been so busy this school year I have gotten really behind on my Buffy comics, so I thought I would start things back up slowly, and what better place than something else created by Joss Whedon?
Sugarshock is a one shot comic that was originally put on the Internet as part of Myspace Dark Horse Presents. It follows a band called Sugarshock, compiling a group of some rather interesting individuals. First up we’ve got Dandelion, the lead vocalist and guitar player who most likely suffers from a strong case of ADHD, and definitely has a racist outlook towards Vikings. Why you ask? Well, that flashback is interrupted by something much more pertinent, so unfortunately we will never get the full story behind that, but it is the one constant riding along with the rest of her random thought trains. Holding up the rest of the instruments are a matter-of-fact guitarist, a drummer who is a quick-to-love-(before-learning-names) kind of gal, and a robot named Phil. Oh, and a cameo from Abe Lincoln. That’s right, the Abe Lincoln.
On first glace this comic is very comparable to Scott Pilgrim thanks to its musically inclined characters, humor, and randomly fitting element of violence, but this is no rip off. It is drenched in Joss Whedon’s ability to turn a phrase and create a seemingly random ensemble of characters that are distinct enough unto themselves, yet fit perfectly with one another in how they play off everyone in the group, especially in concern to Dandelion. That girl really is in her own world, and her amazing bits of dialog are matched nicely with the reactions of the other band members.
With Sugarshock only being the length of a single comic issue and available for free on the internet, there really is no excuse not to read it. Joss Whedon is at his finest with the hilarious writing and dedication to creating great characters in this piece, and the art by Fabio Moon is just as deserving of praise. Seriously, check it out here (click the link, scroll halfway down the page to “MDHP Back Issues,” to find part one of the story).