It’s a story Abby and Dean know well – a popular politician, a lone gunman, and lives shattered. But that’s where the story they know stops, because when ULTRA is involved, nobody is innocent, dead people don’t tend to stay that way, and Dean is about to meet the Alpha subject who’s been haunting his dreams for months – with earth-shattering results.
The trouble with writer Caitlin Kittredge’s Throwaways #14 is it’s inconsistency. Kittredge’s writing style tries to be clever but comes off tedious, cliched, and overly wordy. The creative team seems to forget that a comic is a collaborative effort where the story and panels complement each other to create something wonderful. This is more tell than show, losing some of the strength of the graphic medium. Kittredge seems to be solely interested in showing how many pop culture references and smart quips she can squeeze on a page, which would be fine if she wasn’t relying on just the words and provided some context or substance to back it all up.
Not only does Kittredge insist on telling you everything every character is thinking, and everything they are doing as they are doing it, the dialogue is also hella wordy and downright boring. The action is few and far between which would be fine except the story is so uninspiring that by the time anything happens you no longer care.
Throwaways #14 is a true waste of an interesting premise with strong female leads who seem to be slowly developing but, instead of giving the characters something to work with, the reader gets stuck with unrealistic dialogue that makes all of the characters come off as a hive mind clone.
The story itself isn’t all bad but, the characters are forced to speak some truly horrendous and unbelievable lines. In a tense scene, a character, who has been drugged and essentially kidnapped, decides to escape his parental characters by engaging in a pages long discussion before trying to leave. When he does this he is immediately shot back down because, as his captor tells him, he is drugged. This would be fine except, less than two pages later he actually just walks out the door and as he leaves he says, “oh, you know what… F*** you both”. Not only is the dialogue ridiculous, the pacing is. How is someone too drugged to leave and then twelve sentences later, perfectly OK? Why would anyone, in any situation, say that?
Steven Sanders art work is basic but probably the most interesting thing about Throwaways #14. Sanders went with lackluster muted earth tones , that were supposed to convey the despair of the situation but, because the dialogue is so bad, it just drains the reader more. Taken on their own, the panels would something fun to look at, unfortunately some of the delicious panels are so filled with dialogue bubbles you don’t get to see a lot of it. This issue focuses on an assassination attempt of this arcs big baddy but there’s a convoluted subplot and some background chaos going on that is supposed to shake things up but, instead adds to the chaos.
Throwaways #14 is a bit of a disappointment which sucks because I had high hopes for this series. It seems that even after a few issue hiatus on my part, things haven’t gotten better and the creative team has doubled down on everything that made this comic draining.
Story: Caitlin Kittredge Art: Steven Sanders
Story: 6.1 Art: 6.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review