Review Spoilers: Low
What would happen if it turned out that our celebrity obsessed culture actually grew pop stars in a lab and one of them escaped? What lengths would the people who created her go to get her back?
I have to admit, that kind of sounds like an episode of South Park, but that’s the basic premise of Pop.
Pop immediately jumps into the concept with newly created star Elle Ray escaping her prison and running right into the arms of a going nowhere stoner named Coop. Her creator Spike Vandall sets out to get her back by any means possible, even if it means recruiting a harsh rocker looking duo who will shoot a Justin Bieber knockoff in the kneecaps with no remorse.
I wanted to like this comic and maybe it’s just because the first issue doesn’t get into much of this four part story, but it kind of feels like a story created someone completely cynical about pop music and pop culture who wants to sound smart. There’s even one point where Vandall quotes that one line from ‘Rhinestone Eyes’ by Gorillaz that everyone on Tumblr quoted for about six months after the release of Plastic Beach to try and sound deep.
Along with that, it’s just kind of boring. There are so many elements that I’ve seen in other stories that isn’t really brought across in a way that could be interesting. Plus, Coop running into Elle before nearly killing himself makes me feel like he’s going to be set up as some tragic hipster hero or something like that. Blech.
The art is kind of nice though. It’s got this dark 80s indie comic sort of vibe with fuzzy colors and strong tech designs.
Plus, seeing a Justin Bieber clone get shot in the kneecaps was kind of satisfying.
Final Thoughts: I know pop music isn’t to everyone’s taste, but Pop #1 feels like the annoying hippie hipster who tries to convince me of how deep he is by droning on and on about how we’re all being controlled by corporations just because I mention that I enjoy Lady Gaga. The art is nice and I do feel like the story has potential to pick up, but it isn’t off to a good start. Maybe stick with Phonogram or The Wicked + The Divine for now to get your pop music in comics fix.