by Brandy DykhuizenWhat happens when a group of struggling celebrities, all hovering at the edge of stardom but mired down in their own self-absorption, make a pact with darker forces to ensure all their ego-fueled dreams come true? Ostensibly everything they’ve ever wanted, for a good ten years anyway, barring the odd failed relationship and the subsequent negative publicity. But when the funeral of someone in their collective periphery brings this cast of characters back into a shared orbit, stars begin to collide with grisly and cataclysmic effects.

Writer Curt Pires, prophet of grisly futures, and artist Eric Scott Pfieffer lead us down a dark path of expectation versus regret, punctuated by Kate Moss cheekbones and powder-hungry nostrils. The gift of fame and adoration hasn’t appeared to make the recipients any better at living, but with such an easy path to forge, self-improvement is obviously not their top priority. Pires has us consider the concepts of misery and narcissism in this debut issue, perhaps saving the cast’s redeeming qualities for later issues, should any arise. Pfieffer firmly grabs us at hello, with billowing plumes of smoke and looping, mystical fires. He keeps us entranced throughout with his emotive, hyper-realistic depictions. Put simply, Eric Pfeiffer is an amazing artist.

Once one of the gang falls victim to foul play, a realization spreads through the group: The deceased provides a power boost for the living, which kicks off this riddle of eerie, Ten Little Indians proportions. At this stage, the culprit is anyone’s guess, as all we know for sure about the key players is that their collective self-interest is strong enough to phone in some black magic to ensure a permanent place in the limelight. Who among them wouldn’t throw the others under the bus in the name of coming out ahead?

The Forevers promises to be a dazzling black magic murder mystery with deadly surprises lurking underneath. Whether you want to root for the guy who comes out on top or just take pleasure in watching the mighty fall, this book will be an enjoyable study of the lengths that people will go to please themselves. It’s naughty, nasty fun.

Black Mask Studios/$3.99

Written by Curt Pires.

Art by Eric Scott Pfeiffer.

Letters by Colin Bell.

8.5 out of 10