NVRLND #1- Peter Pan for the 21st Century
NVRLND Trailer- Very good, as you can see, and so is the comic!
When I reviewed Humbug and ExMortis, two comics from 451 Comics, I immediately noticed the reinterpretations, borrowings, and innovative usage of public domain stories and classic literature. In ExMortis, there was the borrowing of characters and themes from Dracula, Frankenstein, and a number of other monster stories. Humbug was a new interpretation of Ebeneezer Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, remade into a paranormal detective. I’m thankful that 451 Comics liked my previous reviews and gave me the opportunity to do an early review of their comic NVRLND before it is released to the public. As may be obvious from the title, NVRLND has connections to J.M. Barrie’s classic novel, Peter Pan. NVRLND is basically a retelling and reinterpretation of the tale in a newer, more modern setting.
Peter Pan is giving an interesting sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll treatment for a mature audience in NVRLND. The writers of NVRLND are Dylan Mulick and Stephanie Salyers. The artist is Leila Leiz. It’s slated to be a 4 issue release. As expected from reading Humbug and ExMortis, I’ve come to expect very professional art from 451 Comics, and the art in NVRLND lives up to the skill of 451’s other titles. Set in Hollywood, there are a lot of neon colors, flashy lights, and clublife settings that remind me of Batman Beyond (which I’ve also been revisiting and reading recently).
The plot revolves around a new drug, Pixie Dust, taking the streets by storm and being pushed heavy by the selfish, cruel, and creepy James Hook. The drug gives people the illusive feeling that they can fly. Hook, who owns a tattoo parlor and is kind of like an evil Dave Navarro, seems to get his kicks off of offering this horrible drug to young people. He’s probably one of the most unsettling characters I’ve read in a comic book, to be honest, especially for a comic that, in some glances, seems innocent and YA.
But it’s way too mature for that… and dark. By the time you realize how dark it is… man… it’s not comfortable.
Meanwhile, Wendy Darling family moves to town and she attends a new school. She sees Peter Pan and is smitten by him. Soon, they are on a wild journey together.
There’s a YA romance element to the book, as would be expected with the famed love pairing of Wendy and Peter Pan, just more spiced up for an older audience. At the same time, it’s not too YA, and expands beyond romance. I could see this comic appealing to not only fans of Twillight, or even the more mature True Blood, but to both male and female readers that like a bit of magic and fantasy in their fiction.
The story is good so far, and the first comic is a good introduction. The ending… is…. unsettling. Stephanie and Dylan did a great job in creating a very unsavory character with this Hook antagonist, and with introducing the Wendy Darling as well as Peter Pan. There’s a fun character named Tiger who forms a rivalry and friendship with Wendy, and Tiger’s mom is a cop trying to solve the case of Pixie Dust, which gives us a look into a “detective” aspect of the comic. That said, after reading the comic, I enjoyed it, and my brain needs a bar of soap after that ending.