I’ve been following the Black Mask Studios series The Forevers since the lead up to publication because I find the ideas springing out of Curt Pires’ brain make me think about the way I perceive the information and imagery in the world around me. Starting with his writing on the Dark Horse series POP, then The Tomorrows, and even series like The Fiction from Boom! Studios. What has been subtext and oblique references to modern media and stardom in these other series becomes even more open and direct in this current series, The Forevers with artist by Eric Pfeiffer and letters by Colin Bell.
The series follows a group of young people who, as we come to understand gradually, have made some kind of occult pact to attain super stardom. And someone, presumably one of them, is killing off members one by one because their magic is fading and the murderer has realized that if fewer of the group members are around, there is more magic for those remaining alive.
The massively effecting aspect of the story is that Pires and Pfeiffer have chosen to base their characters loosely on recognizable celebrities. Their names, of course, are different, but you will recognize their faces and professions, from rock star to mega-actor, to super-model. That gives the series an eerie air of reality-unreality that couples with the other photo-realistic aspects of locations to make you feel part of this strange world.
One of the effects of the comic is to make you realize just how undesirable mega-stardom is. These are dark, twisted lives, full of anguish, distrust, and profound loneliness. I’m sure there are some super-stars who are not miserable, but anxiety and potential substance problems certainly go with the deal for massive success in entertainment fields.
So as you hate-watch these stars tearing each other apart, you’re also following a mystery. Who is killing them off? What would happen if the wider world found out that an occult pact has made them famous?
Issue #3 lands this week, subtitled “Beautiful Ones” and is posed to explore another death, and thereby life, and bring more of our remaining celebrities from the original pact together in real time. This time it’s Zachariah Cole, who bears a striking resemblance to Curt Cobain and has had a child, like Cobain did, before his death. He “actualized his reality” through the pact and got what he wanted from life, but then what? Like the others in the group, he faced a profound abyss of “now what?” after the pinnacles of fame. Told partly from the perspective of his surviving partner and mother of his child, Jamie, this issue may hit hard for Cobain fans, even including a replica post-mortem report, but this issue also suggests that none are safe, and maybe all of these spell-driven celebs are doomed.
Pfeiffer’s artwork on this issue is even more balanced and meticulous than in previous issues–the series is really hitting its stride for disturbing engagement with the life of stardom told from the inside out.
Look out for The Forevers issue #3, out on Wednesday, February 15th from Black Mask Studios.