REVIEW: SURVIVAL STREET #1
Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG-13/R
Writers: James Asmus and Jim Festante
Artist: Abylay Kussainov
Colors: Ellie Wright
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Benjamin Dewey
Editor: Daniel Chabon
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Story: 4.0 Stars
Artwork: 3.7 Stars
Cover Artwork: 4.0 Stars
Dialogue: 4.0 Stars
Mechanics: 3.7 Stars
Editing: 3.9 Stars
About the Book:
In 2025 the United States Supreme Court voted to grant corporations the right to run for political offices. In 2026 corporations took control of every seat in the House of Representatives, as well as every seat up for election in the senate. It takes them less than a year to privatize or eliminate every public service, land and utility. The corporations find ways to bring these assets into the fold and run them for profit.
Public network television shows like the beloved Salutation Street are canceled. People are outraged that puppets have been telling their children the difference between right and wrong. Now many of these formerly beloved stars are being hunted like criminals… Until they decide it’s time to fight back.
I have to be honest. Survival Street never made it onto my radar until all four issues of the series had already been published. When I saw this cover on the shelves of my local comic book store it instantly made me think,”What the @&$? is THAT?!”. From there my attention was captured enough to make me want to go on a curiosity voyage.
I both love and find myself frightened by how politically relevant Survival Street is. Politicians don’t work for their constituents. They work for the corporations that finance them. How do you explain people having a net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars on a salary that pays $250K? It’s bribery or insider trading. Either way, it’s illegal but nothing is done about it because everyone is doing it.
We’ve already had politicians try to put an end to some of public services and run them like a business. “The postal service costs our taxpayers too much money”. Call me silly for not wanting my mail to be distributed by the lowest bidder, with hopes that it will arrive and be in one piece.
Two panels in Survival Street hit home more than any others. They are in reference to the television viewing habits of people.
“People don’t tube in to have their minds changed. They watch whoever tells them what they already believe.”
This is true on both sides of the aisle. The news is supposed to be the news. It has become ten seconds about what happened and five minutes of a pundit telling you what to think about it. It needs to stop; but it won’t. There’s too much money involved.
The artwork on this cover is exactly what every comic book should be. Anytime you can catch and hold someone’s attention, you’ve hit your mark. More often than not when you hit that mark someone is adding another book to the stacks.
There are a lot of new characters and personalities to keep track of as you make your way through this first issue of Survival Street. Fortunately the creative team was kind enough to give us a little blurb about each new character as we met them. It made it easier to fall into the story.
I liked the not so thinly veiled references to so many characters we know and love from another street in public television. It helps the reader become more vested in what happens to a character when they see them as a friend. The Fawkes News business card was a nice touch as well.
Survival Street comes right out of the gate and shows people the state of the Union. That’s what this geek on a budget loves about. Some will see this book as a wake up call. Some will see it as a mockery that can’t happen because our main characters are puppets. Sadly, we’ve already established people are going to watch whoever tells them what they already believe.