Pigs #1 Cover by Jock

Pigs #1

Story by Nate Cosby & Ben McCool
Art by Breno Temura
Colors by Christopher Sotomayor
Letters by Rus Wooton
Cover by Jock

25 pages / color/ $2.99

Image Comics

“Something about war and people and probably surveillance.”
–George Orwell

Problem with cold wars is that there’s no armistice. No documents to be signed on the victor’s boat. No winners and plenty of losers. Problem with a cold war is that freezer burn is inevitable, because something in the deep, dank, dark is bound to be forgotten and left to be uncovered at such a time as it seems an absurd relic. And anyone who’s ever walked a schoolyard knows it’s the funny and misplaced passion that turns out to be the most volatile.

Such is the case with Pigs #1, the start of a slow simmer from out of the cold.

A full generation after their program’s initial sell-by date, sleepers have awakened into a complex terror plot with shades of Rip Van Winkle. The twist here is that the sleeper cell’s original operatives have aged beyond their field service prime since the Bay of Pigs incident, but rather than allow the contract to die with them, the mantle has been passed on to a cadre of sons and daughters. Their handlers, or whatever entity has managed to secure control of the cell in the years since its inception, activate the group and step back into the shadows as the works start getting wet.

This first issue unfolds in nonlinear fashion, focusing on the lead-up to a maritime strike in Miami, the death of one of the cell’s original operatives and the ensuing family meeting, as well as a police interrogation scene following the devastating activation of the cell. It all ends with one hell of a ballsy cliffhanger, an image and concept that ratchets up the stakes to unforeseen heights.

Though the series opens with a compelling hook and a surge of big questions, key characterization will have to wait for issue #2 or beyond. Save for the cell’s charismatic matriarch, we don’t know a whole lot about this ensemble. It’s this elder operative who interacts with both the second generation sleepers and the investigating detectives, offering two different sides of the conflict, the agent behind the scenes and its public face. One second generation sleeper, Viktor, the son of the recently deceased Vidlen, is a tempestuous young man who lashes out at both his fellow operatives and the mysterious handler who activates the cell. One man and two women round out the second generation. One of these Russian emigrates is named Havana for the shores of the strange new island that has become their home.

Sometimes jarringly caustic, the dialogue is otherwise exceptional, with entertaining interplay between the coolly confident matriarch and her desperate interrogators. She feigns ignorance at the mention of the Bay of Pigs, expounding instead on her appreciation of bacon. “You attempt to frighten an old woman into admitting things that are not true,” she says. “You ask of 1962? The KGB? These are old things. You speak of old men. All of the old men I knew are dead.” The full ramifications and motives behind this cell’s plot have yet to be fully divulged, but it’s hard not to like this broad. She’s the anchor.

Though not a direct crib or homage, the rough interior art often harkens to Jeff Lemire’s work in Sweet Tooth or Essex County, especially whenever a mustache turns up. It’s not the most graceful imagery, but when it comes clobbering time, Temura offers up blunt force trauma. Sometimes as crude as Viktor’s violent tendencies or the overly-aggressive Bad Cop, this isn’t the most nuanced art, but there’s an earnestness to it, and hopefully it will gain complexity in the coming months.

Pigs #1 asks a great deal of its audience, extending a hand still dripping red. Our protagonists are bona fide terrorists. But here’s the thing. I’m eager to know why they’ve chosen this path, or how readily. We’re looking at a slow burn from absolute zero. It looks to be worth the sizzle.

Story: 4 / Art: 3 / Overall: 4

(Out of 5 Stars) 



  1. The Jock cover caught my eye on the Pull List page yesterday. If my shop has this, I think I’ll pick it up!

  2. Awesome. Already pulling this one, sounds like it’ll be worth my $2.99

  3. That Jock did that cover explains why it screamed “The Losers!” far more than Sweet Tooth.

  4. wow, the cover is great