Beginning with the previous episode, co-writers Sharp and Abernathy look at what happens when a group of kids get carried away with reality TV. Obsessed with the Treatment show, things get out of hand for Caperina, Onofre, and Ignacio when Abejundio finds a loaded gun used by the Treatment crew.
It’s not often that media takes a step back to look at the influence or affect on its audience. In light of the recent debate over gun control, this particular episode of Treatment Mexico City will probably strike a chord with readers. Rather than be didactic or preachy, Sharp and Abernathy simply offer a hypothetical for what happens when kids are raised in a gun culture.
The borderline between fantasy and reality is toed here with the kids re-enacting their favorite episode of Treatment Mexico City. True to life, it all starts out as fun and games. However, things start to get out hand quickly when Caperina takes things too far.
Since any story involving children and guns is a sensitive matter, parts of the story are uncomfortable. Particularly when Caperina starts to confuse reality and fantasy while aiming the loaded gun at her youngest sibling Ignacio. Perhaps that was the intention.
The expectation for this series has been death. This reviewer had to seriously wonder if a little kid was going to get his brains splattered against the wall by his big sister, which brings things back to expectation. Readers expect unending violence in most comic books, but that shifts really quickly with kids involved.
Perhaps this episode was meant as a gut check for those who enjoy indiscriminate levels of violence in their entertainment. Perhaps this was meant as social commentary inspired by the Newtown shootings. Either way, it finds a way to get readers to think and even possibly contribute to the conversation about gun control.
Social commentary aside, the story was well done and engaging. Neil Googe’s artwork was a nice change of pace form the gritty realism, and it perfectly suited the characters. His style for this episode is reminiscent of manga mixed with pop art sensibilities.
Each motion book panel flowed smoothly with the story sliding into each subsequent step in the plot like a well oiled machine. Leonard O’Grady’s coloring really accentuated Googe’s line work and use of negative space. This made for soft panels that allowed the width and dimension of the artwork to really come through. While this particular arc of Treatment Mexico City is over, Googe has probably opened the door for his return to this or any of Madefire’s other titles.
Overall, this episode of Treatment Mexico City was a compelling read that did all of the things a good story should do – engage, elicit thought, and keep a reader on the edge of their seat. Not bad for a free comic book app.