First out of the gate from former Vertigo Comics executive Shelly Bond’s mature readers imprint Black Crown from IDW – full line-up spoilers here – is the new Kid Lobotomy series – concept art and spoilers here – written by Peter Milligan with art by Tessa Fowler.
Kid Lobotomy #1 Spoilers and Review follow.
The debut issue has three pretty cool covers. The first by interior artist Tessa Fowler.
The next two by Frank Quitely.
This one seems to have been recalled and will reissued for some reason.
Writer Peter Milligan described the cast the series as so to IGN:
The main character is Kid Lobotomy. He’s a failed rock star, a medical school drop out, a reluctant hotel manager and a Kafka obsessive with a lot of strange, dark memories. His sister is the intense and volatile Rosebud, while the man who rules the family is Big Daddy – ambitious, Machiavellian, a modern King Lear who treats the whole world as his fool. Beyond Kid’s immediate family and main hotel staff – the lovely though mysterious Ottla, the ironic Gervais, the scary Night Manager – a key character in this book is the hotel itself: The Suites, that place where Kid grew up and now finds himself manager. There are skeletons buried deep in the bowels of this place, skeletons that are starting to wake up… and ring for room service.
Now onto the issue.
Kid Lobotomy is performing a technique called “new lobotomy” – in the hotel “The Suites” he owns with / from his father – and he eats the diseased part of the brain of a patient.
We then are left wondering whether the next several pages actually happen or are in Kid Lobotomy’s head, but I think the intent is to establish that if you eat a diseased part of a brain it shouldn’t be too diseased or things get trippy for the ingestor including nightmares.
Its seems Kid Lobotomy has an infatuation – real or in his head – with his sister Rosebud.
We then pivot to the past and learn how Kid Lobotomy got that facial scar; a cord from his guitar string broke on stage and scarred him.
We then a series of episodes illustrating Kid Lobotomy’s dementia starting a suicide attempt.
Nude harp playing.
Kid Lobotomy’s rich dad tried all medical procedures to cure his son’s dementia even unsanctioned medical procedures and even occult ones to no avail.
While the latest experimental procedure at the time – new lobotomy – seemed promising, he did still have his visions including some sordid ones with his sister.
Visions of giant cockroaches in The Suites.
Visions of the oddities of the Suites among the “guests” and staff; including the omnipresent two apparitions of two little girls wearing headsets.
Kid Lobotomy wonders about he staff that he has no memory of hiring who seem cut right from a soap opera with their attractive features particularly the maid Ottla.
We then get close to modern day as the old man that the book opened with Kid Lobotomy performing the new lobotomy on enters The Suites hoping that a procedure could help stop the music he hears in his head.
At the same time we see Rosebud, Kid’s sister, scheming to take over the hotel and drive him into further madness, but her sanity appears in question as she may actually be…
The old patient checks into the hotel as Ottla shape-shifts into another hotel employee? Real or imagined by Kid Lobotomy?
Ottla and the Kid get um “close” and his Rosebud fixation comes to play again with a forgotten shape-shifting request by the Kid; does he have memory issues as well as visions?
Now we’re caught up to modern day and the old patient, knife in hand, comes to “thank” Kid Lobotomy for the operation and making the music stop.
The problem is that the music was put in his head by a hypnotist to…
…drawn out the homicidal voice in his head which…
…leads to the kid getting another deep scar, but this time through his neck!
The book ends with a message to readers by Black Crown curator Shelly Bond.
A creepy, trippy, thought provoking debut issue. Tessa Fowler’s art is nuanced, ghoulish and gorgeous at different points and even at the same time. Writer Peter Milligan sets the table for a series where readers will wonder what is real and what is in Kid Lobotomy’s head. I don’t usually read books I may deem as overly violent. I don’t think this book is that, but it has some violent conflicts sprinkled within it with the real star being Kid Lobotomy and his mind; almost feeling like they are two distinct characters in the same body. If you like classic 1980s Vertigo Comics this opening offering and possibly crown jewel of IDW’s Black Crown – Kid Lobotomy –
may be a book for you. 9 out of 10.
Tags: Black Crown, IDW, Kid Lobotomy, Shelly Bond, Vertigo