By Mickey Rivera. The Ballad of Feargal and Sid continues with a splash of teenage wish fulfillment and a bottle of Pimms. At the last Punks Not Dead show we were introduced to our hero, Fergie, a freckled and emotionally fragile wimp. His father didn’t love him enough to stick around, his mother has been forcing him to appear with her on tawdry daytime talk shows for extra money (in-between a steady job and her efforts to resurrect her failed love life), and his social life consists of public beatings and ridicule.
As though the heavenly creator herself heard his yearning to be more than just a walking cloud of frustration, Fergie finds himself tethered to a ghost that looks, talks, and sneers just like Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. Not only does The Ghost of Sid use his gift of gab to provide Fergie with some much needed perspective on life, but the mysterious bond between the two has imbued the kid with a powerful supernatural defense mechanism.
Issue two of Punks Not Dead sees Fergie exploring the rules and limits of this new life situation. Having used his newfound powers to very publicly defeat a bully, this newfound sense of agency and strength has led to wet dreams of a life less miserable. As the issue chugs on, Fergie chats with Sid about what occult force could possibly be keeping the two together. Meanwhile, the antique-posh Ghostfinder General known as Ms. Culpepper continues her investigation into the spate of musically-inclined spiritual apparitions invading England, in this instance the ghost of disgraced 1960s politician John Profumo.Messrs. Barnett and Simmonds effortlessly carry the tempo from the last issue. Barnett keeps tossing out interesting or bizarre nuggets of information about British history past and present, such as the secret sexual orientation of the unfortunately conservative Mr. Profumo, or the shame of a certain former punk-rocker turned butter salesman. His dialogue is consistently on point and funny. Simmonds and Cunniffe continue to blare out their explosive visuals, cranking the volume well past 11.
The marriage of narrative and art in Punks Not Dead sings most beautifully in the cinematic spreads placed at moments of importance. There is one such moment when Fergie runs full tilt away from Sid in an effort to see how far away from him he can get, and you can practically feel the wind on Sid’s terrified mug as he’s hoisted into the sky like a kite. A stunning two-pager later in the book beautifully showcases Fergie’s powers once more, with a mysterious and chilling quote from Dante’s Inferno offering vague threats as to what’s to come. Apparently, Fergie’s uncontrollable new abilities are much more than just a personal problem.
Punks Not Dead remains quite a compelling mix of music and magic, and certainly worth returning to this month and next.
Black Crown/IDW Publishing/$3.99
Written by David Barnett.
Art by Martin Simmonds.
Color Flats by Dee Cunniffe.
Letters by Aditya Bidikar.
8 out of 10
Check out this five-page preview of ‘Punks Not Dead’ #2, courtesy of Black Crown and IDW Publishing!