Luna Issue 1: A Bad Trip, In A Good Way

Before I begin: Luna #1 has a sex scene that involves surprise (but apparently not unwelcome) knife play. When Boom! prints on the back cover that Luna is suggested for Mature Readers, they mean it. (Forgive us, newly promoted Boom Studios Marketing Lead, Esther Kim, for spoiling a late-occurring element of Luna #1.) On with the show.

Luna #1 cover by Maria Llovet. Credit: BOOM! Studios
Luna #1 cover by Maria Llovet. Credit: BOOM! Studios

Maria Llovet, the author of my favorite comic from last year (Loud!), returns with Luna #1. She sets Luna at the end of the '60s in what looks like the American West. The main character, Teresa, it appears, got in a car accident and was rescued by a hippie commune called The Family Of The Sun, who seems nice enough. There would be no story if they were nice enough, so there's something sinister about them, specifically the male leader of the commune, Lux.

Forgive me if this next part is obvious: Lux is Latin for light (among other things), and Lux, the character, is usually drawn at the center of the women in the commune as if he is the center of their lives. There's also a couple of Lux panels where the background colors shift from bright yellows, reds, and greens to dark purple, just for him, as Maria Llovet is seeding "this dude is bad news."

By turns idyllic and sinister, Luna #1 casually asks a chilling question, what do you call a bond that can survive anything, forever? Is that love? Or is it something else? (Spoilers: It's something else.)

Luna thus far is another one of Maria Llovet's "I've fallen in with a bad crowd, and now I'm aroused" comics. The most obvious is Faithless, where the titular Faith falls in with the Devil's family, and Heartbeat, where a schoolgirl falls in love with a male student after witnessing him kill a female student.

Luna's dark psychedelics dazzle me. I can't easily recommend it (y'know, knife play), but that's because of content, not a deficiency of artistry. If you're comfortable with adult content, give Luna a try. It's wild that just one issue in, this series is already one of my favorites of the year.