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The Paranoia Is Real (Mountainhead #1 Review)

Updated: Jan 25, 2020


Writer: John Lees

Artist: Ryan Lee

Colorist: Doug Garbark

Letterer: Shawn Lee

Publisher: IDW

Rating: 8/10

WOW! This book was not what I expected it to be. When I first saw the solicit I was immediately intrigued, but after reading I can say that this might be one of the most interesting titles to come out in a long time. While IDW is usually know for their TV/Film properties (Power Rangers, TMNT, Star Trek, etc.), they show that they are so much more than that. They can bring some original and innovative stories also. Earlier this year they did that with ROAD OF BONES and are continuing with this great new series.

This story focuses on a father/son relationship, but adds such a twisted aspect to it that you can't help but be sucked into the book. Abraham Stubbs and his father Noah live "off the grid", committing burglaries just to get by. How this all came to be is one of the more intriguing aspects of the book. Throw in the mystery of a man, bloodied and beaten, who happens to be the only survivor of some grisly murder scene and we have the makings of one twisted and captivating tale.

Abraham is our narrator in the story and writer John Lees does a fantastic job of giving this young man a distinct voice. He's got a very dark outlook on life, mostly do to his father's skewed outlook on life. One of the biggest takeaways from this book is the profound effect parents can have on their children. As a father myself, it really made me reflect on how certain characteristics of mine have influenced my daughters behavior. While definitely not as extreme, it was something that made me think. I mean this kid has grown up in a world full of conspiracy theories, mental illness and paranoia, how could he not have a grim outlook. But Lees write this story in a way that is equally heart warming as it is dark. His dialogue is captivating, as you really become attached to Noah and Abraham from the opening pages.  

There is an inherent darkness throughout this story and Ryan Lee's art perfectly compliments the script. The bleakness of the world these characters inhabit permeates through every little detail. From the blood soaked snow with body parts strewn across, to the clothing worn by our main characters, full of holes and tattered. Lee does an excellent job of building out this world putting emotion and life into each character.

The story takes an interesting turn at the end, one I definitely didn't see coming. That was where the book really won me over. It's not often that I'm genuinely surprised at the way a story goes, but Lees did it. With this only being a 5 issue series, we got a lot of information in this first issue. Not everything is as it seems in the "perfect" little town Abraham lives in.

The mystery aspect is what's bringing me back next month and I suggest you do too.

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