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Addiction, Redemption, Superhero - Buzzkill by Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek

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Created by the writing duo of Donny Cates and Toadies' drummer, Mark Reznicek comes the short and sweet miniseries Buzzkill. In the past two decades, we have been witness to many innovative changes in the interpretation of the superhero comic. The classic age of heroic do-gooders with very basic life problems, such as juggling work with crime-fighting or getting the attention of their love interest, has evolved into deeper issues.

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For the protagonist in Buzzkill, it's addictive substances. Sure, dealing with drug addiction has been dealt with in many other comics as well as in the earlier comic ages. What sets this apart from any of those is that the hero gets his collection of powers in each addictive substance ranging from caffeine to alcohol. Each one bestowing an undisclosed power.

The unnamed protagonist, who uses the name Ruben as an alias in his addiction counseling meetings, has hit rock bottom and has already lost anything in his life that meant anything to him. But, giving up his addictions, notably alcohol, means giving up what makes him a superhero. Ruben is on his road to redemption, trying to salvage what he can of his life with the help from his hilariously deranged sponsor, Dr. Blaq, who is a comical spoof of Dr. Strange.

Buzzkill is a great story, highly entertaining, and definitely one of the best reads to recommend any of your friends. Another positive is the series being 4 issues so it's an easy read through for anyone who has a spare 20 or 30 minutes of free time (depending on how fast you read). Negative, it's only 4 issues, it's so good you're going to wish this was an ongoing series (that's kind of yet another positive).

The artwork is beautifully gritty, rugged in drawing yet vibrant in color. Geoff Shaw is Buzzkill's illustrator with Lauren Affe as the colorist. What they did for Buzzkill's art is incredible, the comic has an edgy presentation that jumps out at you.

Buzzkill is the proper marriage of amazing storytelling and high quality art. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

4 out of 5 stars.


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