Children Of The Corn With A Deadly Digital Twist: You Are Obsolete #1

by Brendan M. Allen
A disgraced journalist is called to cover a mysterious story on an isolated European island. As she investigates, she discovers the children have taken control and are somehow killing off all adults by their 40th birthdays. Now, she must discover the truth behind the killings while staying on the good side of the children’s harsh leader…or she’s next.You Are Obsolete is an spine-tingling thriller that evokes the eerie naturalism of 1970s horror films with a modern deadly digital twist.  
You Are Obsolete #1 opens up with a sort of confession diary. A young writer named Lyra is telling her story, about how she got all mixed up with a murderous pack of kids that have found a way to off every adult on their little island, as soon as they hit their fortieth birthday. The kids are in charge of everything, and the remaining grown folk are terrified to cross the little turds. It’s all very Children of the Corn, but obviously updated with modern tech.
Matthew Klickstein does a few things with this opening chapter. Klickstein drops hints at some disastrous career event that caused Lyra to become so desperate she’d jump on a plane, popping off to some tiny Baltic island on a moment’s notice on the slimmest chance of regaining her relevance. She’s easily relatable, and her job is a clever little device to provide a whole lot of exposition quickly without seeming terribly heavy handed. We also get to meet the creepy little bastards in their element, which they are clearly very much in control of. There is clearly a set of rules in play. The grown folk know their roles, but the kids also have a strict hierarchy in place.
Art by Evgeniy Bornyakov and Lauren Affe is a great fit for the material. Bornyakov’s characters display a wide range of emotion. The adults who inhabit Muhu island are clearly being held against their will, terrified to cross the little buggers. There’s a forced saccharine sweetness behind slightly too wide smiles, and slightly too cheerful conversation. 
Series openers can be pretty rough. There’s a whole lot that needs establishing to even pull the reader in long enough to get to the good stuff. Tedious exposition, world building, character introductions and development… You Are Obsolete #1 handles the housekeeping well enough, and does a fantastic job plopping the reader into this world. There’s obviously a few tropes being visited, but it’s fresh enough, with enough tension that I’m looking forward to the next installment.
You Are Obsolete #1, AfterShock Comics, 18 September 2019.  Written by Matthew Klickstein, art by Evgeniy Bornyakov, color by Lauren Affe, cover by Andy Clarke and Jose Villarrubia, letters by Simon Bowland

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