Twenty-Seven #1 of 4
Script: Charles Soule
Pencils: Renzo Podesta
Twenty-Seven is the story of Garland, a famous guitarist in a very successful band. He’s on tour playing a big stadium and living the rock and roll dream. Sleeping with a new chick every night and not having a girlfriend for more than a week. Catching crabs from dirty vagina, doing all the cool things that rockers do. Then his left hand starts to break down on him. It starts to hurt every time he plays. It gets so bad he has to quit his band and look for help.
Garland travels the world looking for someone to help him with his nerve damaged hand. Every doctor he’s visited has told him the same thing. They can do surgery on his hand, but he’ll be living with “The Stranger” for a left hand from that point on. After spending a lot of his money on doctors and being sued by his band mates over royalties for songs they claimed they helped him write, he’s down to his last buck and on his last visit to a “doctor”.
Garland arrives at this creepy place and meets a man who’s probably not been to medical school. Garland asks him if he's a doctor and the creepy man only replies with, "I'm the one that can heal you". So yeah, he's not a fucking doctor, he's a demon or some shit. The creepy demon doctor guy tells Garland it will only take a few minutes and tells him to go stand naked in this circular structure made out of angle iron. Nothing creepy about that, so he just does what he’s told. I guess Garland has never heard of the “size seven poop shoot” thing. I’m pretty sure I would have left at this point, I’m fond of my anal virginity, but Garland is desperate so he strips.
This is when the story gets really weird to me. I guess they have to leave a few things for later on, but this “doctor” has nine cats in this scary basement and starts talking about the number 81. 9x9 and shit like that. Overall some very insane sounding shit. After stepping into the “naked man iron ball thingy” (that’s the technical name I came up for it) Garland hallucinates’ some Hendrix type shit and passes out. This is when I thought he would wake up with a size seven poop shoot, but that didn’t happen, he just wakes up with a Darth Vader looking computer embedded into his chest. The creepy “doctor” dude appears to be murdered; you only see these burnt stumps remaining of his legs so yeah he’s probably having a bad afternoon.
Garland goes home and gets his drink on for a while. His hand feels the same so he takes off his shirt to check out his new chest computer. There’s a couple moments of “tune in Tokyo” but when he turns a certain knob, his hand suddenly feels fine. Garland launches himself up and grabs his guitar and whips out a fucking kick ass tune. I’m sure it’s something from the Depeche Mode library, but they don’t really go into detail about it so you can make up your own mind on that.
Garland then calls his manager Mac and tells him his hand feels fine. He wants him to start thinking about the reunion tour. Mac says that's great and Garland hangs up and just sits back and plays for a while. After an undisclosed amount of time, his hand suddenly gets fucked up again. Garland tries dialing in his chest computer to get back the use of his hand, but apparently it’s out of juice or something, it won’t work. After trying for a while he starts to hallucinate again. Garland sees a few people in the room with him. They tell him they're dead and the book ends.This is a very good comic book. Charles Soule seems to have gotten the memo on making stories simple. I think we're all sick of the big bang boom stories which promise to deliver mind-altering stories and fall short on many occasions. This book isn't the next "Sandman", but it's got all the important elements for a great comic book. It's got a great hook. What did Garland give up to have that chest computer installed? What the hell is in that Chest Computer. By the end of the book you care about Garland, which is rare these days. The book gave me the creeps when it was supposed to and the artwork is wonderful. It hit on all cylinders for me. It didn't blow my mind like "Preacher" or "Y The Last Man", but I can see this book sitting on my shelf as a Trade Paperback.
Why are people going crazy for this book right now? Well that’s a mystery to me. Twenty-Seven is not worth $30+, which is what you have to pay if you didn’t get it this morning. My advice to you is if you want to read this comic book, pick it up next month when the second issue comes out. Sources tell me the second printing of this issue will be available at the same time. I love simple stories like and so far if this only goes to the four issues it’s slated, we’ve only gotten a small glimpse of what’s to come.
About the cats and the "doctor". There's two competing energy "spirits" involved. There's a creative/inspirational force and an entropic force. (they change form and argue with each other for a few pages) The spell is supposed to offer up life force in exchange for...whatever. Well, the witch doctor substituted cats. And these entities considered that a bad faith effort, and so they negotiate to kill the witch doctor (and the cats) and make the spell work any way because the life force finds Mr. Garland "beautiful". VERY weird. Not a bad book, by any stretch, but also not significantly better than what's going on in say...Hellblazer. So while I won't say anything bad about 27, I wouldn't recommend purchasing it for goddamn $25, either. This is not a legend in the making, in my opinion. That's kind of a snap judgment having only one issue to look at, but that's where I'm at.