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posted October 12, 2006
Joshua and Jonathan Luna
Image Comics, Comic Book, 28 pages, $2.99, October 2006
The Luna Brothers' Girls
tells the story of a small community named Pennystown that is infiltrated by what seems to be some sort of alien lifeform that pits various people in town against one another in their bid for survival against the implementation of this thing's out-there plan or compulsion. What's interesting about the comic -- from a "Boy isn't that interesting" more than a "I have to read this now" place -- is that the incident chews at the lifeblood of the community along sexual lines. The intruder's main agents are attractive (maybe overwhelmingly so to any male on hand, it's not certain) but almost completely mindless naked women that want to have sex with the male townspeople (to make more naked females) and kill the shit out of the female townspeople (for reasons we're not 100 percent certain, although there seems to be some eating involved). In this issue, the bulk of the town's surviving women set a trap for the naked females, and are then forced out of the safe location by the house's owners. There are incremental movements in various subplots as well.
While the description above has an undeniable, crazy B-Movie appeal, and the narrative careens forward with admirably reckless intensity (we were plunged very early on into lawless huddling around where many authors might have played around with a slower infiltration; the Luna Brothers get right to it
), the characters simply aren't well enough realized or smartly depicted so that the retrograde gender politics being portrayed don't stick out like, well, retrograde gender politics. People act with a kind of thudding inevitability, like stock players on a syndicated TV show, not in the variety of ways that real people might act -- there are at least a half-dozen obvious stereotypes. Further, the plot loops back in on itself in a way that feels like padding, as if it's unclear whether the book will be sold as a movie or a TV mini-series. One also gets the feeling that the science fiction outcomes the subplots work towards will have to be a lot loopier than hinted at thus far to make good on the promise of the gonzo imagery of naked women running around the woods beating up chicks, screwing dudes and eating people. As far as the craft elements go, The Luna Brothers have spiced up the pretty-women-with-delicate-shoulders look of their Ultra
series by inserting a few matronly types with beer guts, and men that run a curioius gamut from bland to outright soft. The whole comic looks darker than maybe would be best, like it was something airbrushed onto a wall rather than intended for print, although I would imagine the "dim lighting" is part of the intended effect that comes with everything in this town going to hell.