Lives change when five suburban kids discover a dead superhero in the woods outside of their neighborhood. Plutona is a five-issue limited series by Jeff Lemire and newcomer Emi Lenox, who is also the artist. It starts off earnestly: Best friends Mie Diane are often annoyed by Mie’s younger brother Mike. There’s also Ray, the resident badass who grew up with a tough home life. They all come crashing together one afternoon when they come across Teddy as he peers through binoculars ‘capespotting.’
In this beautifully composed and drawn world superheroes are the norm and are celebrities in their own right. Not only is the superhero Plutona used as a catalyst for this coming-of-age tale, she’s also used as a side story told in flashback at the end of nearly every issue. It would have been easy to make this something more than it is and put Plutona’s fall on a magnified scale, but Lemire and Lenox do an excellent job of keeping this tale contained.
The character arcs develop in a predictable way. However, these characters are crafted perfectly and this would be a good way to study how to piece together five unique voices and put them into one thread. Sometimes it is hard in comics to really give characters enough roundness to connect with; especially when it has to be done in only five issues. Most comics have entire runs to develop and flesh out a single character; Plutona manages to do it five times throughout its run.
While Mie is the focal point, she isn’t the main character. Simply because none of them are. Mie, Ray, Diane, Mike, and Teddy all get a cover to themselves, which highlights the importance of each individual to the story.
The series is wrapped up nicely and in a poignant way. Readers will connect with exactly how this quintet feels and understand where the youngsters will go after the last page is read.
You can pick up each issue individually or purchase the trade paperback [out July 20] now.