Comic Book Review

Shoplifters Will Be Liquidated #1

Shoplifters Will Be Liquidated #1

Written by: Patrick Kindlon

Art by: Stefano Simeone

Aftershock Comics

2019

The largest retailer in the world requires the best-trained loss prevention staff, and Security Officer Nussbaum defends the company interests at any cost. Life, human rights, rational thought are all secondary concerns. But his world is upended when he finds a society living under the retail outlet – a culture that challenges his no-tions about consumerism and sense of self. Is he ready for the message? Imagine Judge Dredd working for Amazon, and you’ve got a hint of what you’re in for.

From Patrick Kindlon (PATIENCE! CONVICTION! REVENGE!) and Stefano Simeone (CLANKILLERS) comes SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE LIQUIDATED-a satirical take on the consumer society.

A fun look at what happens with a corporation goes overboard trying to create a peaceful and safe shopping experience. The book mostly follows a single employee on his rounds as he tries to stop theft, trusty firearm at his side, but while that provides for the majority of the action, the real story is in his head, as we watch him rationalize his brutality as loyalty for a company that’s given him a second chance.

The first issue doesn’t do much more than set the stage, but what a stage it is! The mental gymnastics our protagonist goes through for his job ranks amongst the best delusions of The Joker, and almost as often leads to violence. And while the character is fascinating to watch, the real star quickly becomes the world everything is set in, in which it’s perfectly fine for a store to smash customers belongings, and threaten to smash them, in order to protect it’s stock. Even better, there’s constantly dropped hints that the store is a safe haven from even more violence outside, which goes entirely unseen in this episode. It’s done to great effect, leaving the reader to visualize the worst, while the actual story can focus on more immediate action. A+ storytelling, for sure.

And while the art isn’t quite as detailed or thorough as many mainstream titles, it shines in its own way, reflecting the stark colors and white-washed atmosphere common to retail space. The art feels to the reader what the store is supposed to feel like to the customer – a safe place in a world of violence and danger. It’s that kind of stroke of genius that really makes me feel Shoplifters is something special.

 

Shoplifters Will Be Liquidated #1
 

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Loss Prevention Gone Awry in a Dystopian Future

Fantastic world building makes this image of the future really shine as we follow an over-zealous loss prevention worker on his path to protect a mega-store from theft.

8.5
Art:
8
Direction:
9
Story:
8.5

Brian has been reading comics since January, 1987, when the death of Optimus Prime rocked his young world. Once a regular presenter on The Nerdstravaganza Podcast, Brian now writes for Florida Geek Scene.

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