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"Social Fiends #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson


Written by John J. Perez
Illustrated by Javier Martin Caba
Lettered by Michah Myers
2020, 42 Pages


It's probably a little easier to imagine a fictional dystopian world now than it was a few years back. It doesn't make them any less interesting. How will society collapse? In Social Fiends, humanity destroyed itself with nuclear war, leaving a wasteland behind that vampires and werewolves inherited. Now the monsters rule in a strict caste system with the vampires on top and the werewolves doing all the dirty work. The last vestiges of mankind are picked off for food.

Writer John J. Perez offers up a fascinating reality in Social Fiends. It's eerie to think how close this is to our real world, albeit with the addition of monsters. Perez makes it abundantly clear that the werewolves are the larger, stronger class, yet they're treated like...well, like dogs. They're kept in check with cocaine rations while the vampires rule from their ivory towers, maintaining control over all they survey.

The oversized Social Fiends #1 spends a good amount of time laying all of this out. Sometimes it's almost too much, but it never comes across as dry or boring. This is such a riveting landscape that you can't help but get wrapped up in it. The more we get, the more I want to learn about it.

Click images to enlarge

Artist Javier Martin Caba's work is a nice blend of post-apocalyptic dread and horror with a pinch of humor. While we're looking at a horrifying world, there are still some laughs to be had, if for nothing else than the absolutely insane situation some of the characters find themselves in. For example, the leader of the vampires is this hypocritical condescending tyrant that clearly just wants to be left alone to do whatever he wants without all the rigmarole that comes with being a leader.

The colors match this tone with lots of drab greys and browns and the occasional bright spot (often blood). There's a clear designation between the haves (the vampires) and the have-nots (the werewolves). You can practically feel the dirt and grime on the pages with the latter while the former are pristine.

The design for the werewolves appears more dog-like than human, like a big wolf standing on its hind legs. It makes them look more animalistic and more innocent than their sinister vampire counterparts. While there are no literal leashes shown in Social Fiends, there are metaphorical ones.

Click images to enlarge

Although most of the time we see these creatures in their human forms, letterer Micah Myers reminds us that we're dealing with monsters with some bold text and some great sound effect work. Under other circumstances, you might use a different look for the vampires or werewolves, but since that's almost all we're dealing with, it wouldn't stand out as much. There's a great scream early on that's covered in blood splatter that I absolutely love.

Social Fiends presents a frightening future that's made even more so by how close it resembles our current society. It can be a little on the nose at times, but that only serves to drive the message home even further. This debut issue lays the ground work for an epic clash between monsters. It's one that has been building for some time and this powder keg is about to explode.

The creators of Social Fiends are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of the first issue.


Story: threeandahalfstars Cover
Art: fourandahalfstars
Overall: 4 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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