Comic Book Review: Heartthrob Season Two #1
“Heartthrob” by Christopher Sebela, Robert Wilson IV and Nick Filardi is a series unlike any other. It’s a crime romance with a twist all of its own and in just five issues, it managed to introduce a great cast of characters and provided the best tribute to Fleetwood Mac via Callie’s vault busting song. Thankfully the series has returned and “Heartthrob Season Two” #1 proves this story hasn’t lost momentum.
After the events of the first miniseries, Callie and her crew have moved to Canada and begun living average lives. For Callie, this means going back to school and getting a job at a bookstore. However, while everyone has seemed to move on from what happened in the U.S., Callie hasn’t. She’s dealing with her breakup with Mercer and this has basically sent her into a depressive spiral. She’s disconnected with everything and everyone else and understandably so.
What works so well about “Heartthrob Season Two” #1 is that it both works as a continuation and as a good place to start. I would still recommend reading the first volume but you’re by no means lost using this as your starting point. Sebela’s script packs in so much context but doesn’t get lost in that. He absolutely moves this story along and takes it in a very interesting direction that will force the story to tread new ground instead of a rehash of the first volume. This first issue mirrors the first issue of the series as well in terms of the feel and what Callie is dealing with. She’s not getting a heart transplant this time but her heart is still hurting in a less physical way with her breakup with Mercer. “Heartthrob Season Two” #1 gets into depression and the things that come with that but this isn’t a sad comic. “Heartthrob Season Two” #1 is charming and at times, really funny. One of the great things about this being a continuation is that so much groundwork has been done with these characters so the story can really highlight these relationships more.
One of the things I really like about Wilson’s art is the subtle differences in how he draws Callie in this issue compared to the first issue of the first season. In both issues, Callie is at the bottom but each times are very different bottoms. In the first issue, Callie has resigned herself to a very boring life and at one point she’s literally dead (she’s getting a heart transplant). In those pages, Wilson captures a kind of sadness that feels very unique to her situation in life. In “Heartthrob Season Two” #1, Callie is still sad but now it’s an even more relatable sadness. Wilson hones in on depression and loneliness in a really great way through Callie’s visual disconnect from much of the situations she finds herself in during her day to day routine. There’s a very tangible feeling of loss in what Wilson draws in her body language and how she dresses compared to everyone else. Wilson’s styling of each character is perfectly timely and I even found myself wanting actual pieces of these outfits. Filardi helps this through his color work. Callie is noticeably colored a bit more in blues and blacks, like a rain cloud compared to everyone else that’s colored in a very late 1970’s sense. Filardi uses bright pastels and he especially brings the fashion to life in a wonderful way.
“Heartthrob Season Two” #1 is fantastic. It’s charming, easy to jump into and sets up a really interesting situation for these characters. It’s a story that I was dying to see continue and this team is at top form.