27 Second Set #1


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27 Second Set #1


  • Words: Charles Soule
  • Art: Renzo Podesta
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release Date: Sep 14, 2011

What happens when a has-been guitarists meets the Spirit of Creativity?  Nothing creative.

Little of anything consequential occurs over the entire first issue of 27 Second Set from creators Charles Soule and Renzo Podesta.  Throughout the bland 24 pages, hollow characters come and go, get drunk, and indulge in groupies, but that surely does not make it interesting. 

Following the previous volume, 27 First Set, washed-up guitarist Will Garland has recorded a solo guitar album and has taken the stage promoting his new musical persona.  Garland’s guitar prowess is hardly the most exciting aspect of the character, however.  The former rock-god has been outfitted with a hybrid science-fiction/dark-magic chest plate that when activated gives him three solid hours of inspiration and creativity, with the caveat that after the 27th activation, Garland dies. 

If the premise itself doesn’t smell enough of rotten cheese, perhaps the stereotypical character interactions will.  Garland’s “has-been” persona is more akin to an overly emotional teenager than a former guitar virtuoso, leading him to whine to and blame his manager for his failures rather than take responsibility for his own actions.  When Garland is not striking out against those that care for him, he spends his nights getting drunk at concerts trying to relive his past, and ultimately fails to do so.  One cannot forget, moreover, the convenient inclusion of a hollow “barely 18” groupie that sets Garland on his path for the rest of the series, proving that Garland is hardly the only empty character in the book.

Artist Renzo Podesta’s art style meshes well with the theme and tone of 27 Second Set.  His character models are typical of the musician’s lifestyle: colored and side-swept hair, piercings, and tattoos.  The panel backgrounds, however, are oftentimes left blank, with merely colored walls filling in behind the characters.  In fact, the vast majority of 27 Second Set, is comprised of solid color backgrounds, short of a limited amount of exterior buildings making an appearance. 

27 Second Set is in no way a bad comic, but it certainly requires a specific audience to be enjoyed.  Will Garland’s story might be compelling or interesting to a fan of the musician's lifestyle, but for those less inclined to read about washed-up guitarists, 27 Second Set is worth skipping.

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