"Burnouts #4" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by Image Comics
Written by Dennis Culver
Illustrated by Geoffo
Lettered by Dave Dwonch
2018, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on December 19th, 2018
The aliens hit close to home as one has popped into a jail cell with three of the burnouts just as they're sobering up. As a reminder, they can only see and fight the aliens when they're high or drunk, so this is quite a predicament. One of them could be possessed right now and they wouldn't know who.
Our gateway into Burnouts is Andy, a mild-mannered kid who has found a new home with the weirdos after one night of debauchery. He's at a crossroads. He could keep his head down and continue being a good kid, ignoring the fact that his own parents are possessed by these balloon-like aliens or he could get high and fight these monsters. You can guess which one he's leaning towards.
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Despite their possession, Andy's parents are still super nice and loving. This is what give the kid a moment of doubt because what if they've always been this way? What happens if he sets them free and they turn out to be assholes? This is more than a little heartbreaking, as Andy wants to do what's right and that's getting harder and harder to figure out.
Geoffo's artwork is just the right mix of cartoony and serious for Burnouts. The real fun comes out in the facial expressions, especially Andy's. Geoffo can say so much with just a look, whether that's shock, anger, fear, or a downright hilarious face. This gives you a good understanding as to what's going through Andy's head as the internal struggle continues.
Letterer Dave Dwonch adds to this uneasy feeling as Andy questions himself. There's a great sequence where Andy is getting ready for school and he asks himself in a quiet voice if he would even know if he was possessed. This little moment of total fear hits you like a punch to the gut. This poor kid is in over his head.
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We actually don't see a single alien in Burnouts #4, but their presence is most definitely felt. Their absence, or rather, their invisibility, creates an unmistakable tension since they could be anywhere or everywhere. You could second guess every image in this comic wondering if a character is under the influence of a foreign entity, and I'm not just talking about weed.
Burnouts is as fun as it is unpredictable. Who do you trust when everyone you meet could be secretly possessed by an alien? Writer Dennis Culver brings a ton of heart to this issue while maintaining the same level of humor and horror. This is a breakout book.