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‘The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos #1 – 5’ (review)

Written by James Tynion IV and Tate Brombal 
Art by Isaac Goodhart
Published by Tiny Onion Studios
and Dark Horse Comics

 

The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos is an ongoing Dark Horse comics series about a character whose life and acquaintances are far from pedestrian.

As I understand it, award-winning writer James Tynion IV created the series but then Tate Brombal and Isaac Goodheart—both new to me—ran with it, introducing the reader to a somewhat androgynous young man who has a number of bizarre powers, such as seeing all the hidden details of the universe or returning life to dead things…sometimes. Well…once.

Reanimating is, in fact, an overarching theme that runs through this series, as one of its other major characters is one Adam Frankenstein—as in Frankenstein’s monster.

Monsters are like a whole second-class “race” in this storyline, chased after by white-masked and robed ghostly figures with a vague religious association. Vampires are real. Werewolves are real. Even weirder things…are real.

One of the major characters, a hero, is a real vampire. Dracula Boy’s friend is a werewolf and he goes missing, possibly dead.

Our ostensible protagonist, Christopher Chaos, who dresses like the X-Men’s Jubilee circa 1992, is surprisingly the least interesting character in every issue. I guess in a way that does tie in with the series’ long title after all. He has a bit of a crush on a fellow class member and follows him, just in time to see him assaulted by the white specters. What he sees and what happens next is what brings him to more or less team up with two other students, Dracula Boy and a girl who can somehow create or summon “ghost cats.”

Determined to discover just exactly what’s going on and the true fate of their friend, the trio is confronted by the robed spirits, only to be recognized by a giant of a man who spends the next few pages giving much exposition.

The characters in The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos seem fairly original, with the uniquely-powered girl being a bit of a plus size, and Christopher himself (themself?) coming across as somewhat easily distracted and more than a little effeminate. Dracula Boy, of course, is a literal vampire—not something one finds often in a hero.

Although there’s almost a feel of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to everything, the writing throughout is actually original and well-paced, keeping you reading and keeping you guessing. The artwork is very traditional and yet somehow stylishly modern at the same time. The story takes some dark turns at times but overall, it has a fairly consistent sense of fun and an air of originality.

Issue five’s backmatter even offers up some behind the scenes info of the kind one usually sees as back-up material in the inevitable graphic novel collection.

The Oddly Pedestrian Life of Christopher Chaos is an enjoyable read that can be seen as a metaphor for race, religion, sexual preference, or school-age angst, somewhat of a parody of comic book superheroes, or even just a good, old-fashioned comic book romp (with adult language!)

Booksteve recommends.

 

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