Teenage wasteland

If nothing else, in comic circles Ed Brubaker is known for great characters. From the autobiographical Lowlife to his slacker detective in The Scene of the Crime, Brubaker’s gift is to create people you feel you know and usually wish you didn’t. With Deadenders he introduces Beezer, a Vespa-riding, amphetamine-dealing street kid. Beezer’s hassled by everyone – his family, his girlfriend, his supplier and the cops. His only escape is his ride and his ragtag friends.

Like countless teenage antiheroes, Beezer hates his world and desperately wants out. But, oh, his world! He’s stuck in the slums of New Bedlam, a police state run by an Orwellian corporation called New Bethlehem, 20 years after a disaster known only as "the Cataclysm." As shitty as life is, it’s about to get worse as New Bethlehem decides that Beezer’s special and they want him.

Deadenders uses all the classic dystopian teen epic elements. Equal parts Quadrophenia, Clockwork Orange and Trainspotting, it still feels fresh. In 22 pages, Brubaker builds a brave new world with all the crazed angst that adolescence can muster. Warren Pleece’s art fits perfectly with a clean, kinetic style. "No Future" never looked so promising.

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