These aren’t your father’s grandmas
Golden Girls meets Battle Royale. That is how Golden Rage, a 5-issue comic book limited series, is described and marketed. And that is why I, a sucker for high concept forms of media, checked out the first issue. I was not disappointed.
Golden Rage #1: Chaos
Writer: Chrissy Williams
Artist: Lauren Knight
Colorist: Sofie Dodgson
Letterer: Becca Carey
Editor: Joamette Gil
Publisher: Image Comics
Golden Rage #1 begins by dropping the reader, along with Jay, one of the main protagonists, into the middle of a chaotic violent brawl involving old women on a remote island. It’s disorienting, and it immediately delivers what was promised by Image Comics’ diabolical marketing team. We see exactly what “Golden Girls meets Battle Royale” looks like. Or at least get a brief taste of it.
Props to writer Chrissy Williams and artist Lauren Knight for pulling us in with bedlam at the beach, dragging us through confusion and some panicked introspection, before easing us into some quiet time with the other protagonists of the story.
The bulk of the issue introduces us to the dynamics between Jay and her three elder kidnappers/new roommates: Rosie, Lottie and Caroline.
We don’t fully learn why they’re all trapped on a dangerous island with other violent old women who are constantly trying to kill each other. Hardly anything is explained about the whole murder island situation, actually. But the lack of plot development is not a concern because this premiere issue takes its time to establish its characters.
This gives the Post-Apocalyptic Golden Girls room to show us how they interact with each other and how they spend their non-killing time. It’s nice to get to know these characters, their anxieties, their insecurities, their fears and their cats before we eventually go back to murder and mayhem on crone island.
Prioritizing character development before geriatric violence is an idea I can get behind.
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Knight’s art mixes gritty lines and distinct figures to give the main characters some texture and depth, even with a slightly animated style.
The muted colors of Sofie Dodgson after the first few pages of chaos add to the depressing atmosphere seen throughout the issue. As a regular reader of loud, colorful superhero comics, I’m not used to seeing this kind of drab color palette. However, it does reflect the hopelessness, sadness and desperation of the characters, so this is fine.
It’s hard to tell if Williams and crew’s story, which is trying to challenge the way we see old women, can be successfully told with an abundance of knives, axes and sporks. It’s just the first issue, after all.
But the fact that Golden Rage #1 forces us to ask ourselves why we as a society tend to determine the usefulness of older women based on how their bodies function? It’s enough for even my high concept-loving ass to stick around to see how it all plays out. Maybe even all the way through to issue #5.
I give this a rating of 3 out of 5 swole crones.
“Golden Rage #1” is now available wherever fine comic books are sold.
Art Pis Trinidad