Legendary hip-hop pioneer Darryl “DMC” McDaniels has an all-new project coming out, but this time, it’s a comic! DMC has started a publishing company called Darryl Makes Comics, and has also launched the first graphic novel called “DMC.” DMC has been a fan of comics since he was a young kid in New York, who grew up reading Marvel comic books. After he would come home from school, he would read these comics, which made him feel as if he were a superhero. Now, he is one! If you missed our interview last week, be sure to check it out here.
Here is the synopsis of DMC #1, followed by my review of the book.
It’s 1985 in New York City. Wildstyle graffiti covers subway cars as. B-boys break and spin in playgrounds and on street corners. Koch is mayor. Drugs and crime rule the streets. A terrifying plague is brewing in the shadows. And as the populace loses faith in the police, a man named Bernard Goetz is being hailed as a hero for shooting four teenagers in a subway car. In this 1985, however, the city’s brand new guardian angels wear spandex and capes, wielding their gadgets and their superpowers to clean up the City – even if their methods hurt more people than they help. There’s the deluded “graffiti king” Mr. Marx patrolling the tunnels; the dark moral crusader The Puritan who stalks the shadows of the Lower East Side; and above it all, the godlike Helios, darling of the Upper East Side and the NYPD. It seems like only some of New York’s residents are benefitting from these vigilantes’ protection. The rest whisper the name of another hero: DMC. You see, in this 1985, Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC) never rocks the mic to become one of hip-hop’s most enduring icons. Instead, he dons his tracksuit and Adidas sneakers to defend the city’s marginalized citizens against super villain and super hero alike, leaving no traces besides the imprint of his knuckle rings on his opponents’ faces. (By day, though, he teaches junior high school English.) With the help of reporter Charlie Cooper and a band of graffiti artists led by the spunky Lak6, DMC must confront the new “heroes,” and investigate whether there’s anything behind their sudden appearance.
This comic not only takes place in the mid 80’s but it also feels as a throwback to all of the 80’s comics and cartoons that were so popular when I was a kid. The book took me back to cartoons like GI Joe. “DMC” deals with issues that were around in the 80’s like aids, homophobia, domestic violence, politics, and education. Though, the cartoons of the 80’s never touched on these issues, DMC does and is not afraid to do so. This is what makes the story seem more modern, because of the fact that those same issues, sadly, are still around 30 years later. The story definitely has a lot of morals like say Superman and Captain America. I know some fans of comics think the morals part of comics are a bit cheesy. In my opinion, I think that comics should never steer away from moral issues, as long as it fits in the story. I think It gives us more of a connection to the story.
A cool part about the book is that it’s an origin story of DMC becoming a superhero but it’s done in several short stories, like chapters, that make for one whole story. In each story, the characters involved go through the different issues that I was talking about before, and while these characters are going through these issues, DMC’s story fits in perfectly and you see him grow as a hero. You see his powers develop and his costume get more advanced.
The art of the book is done by several artist whose styles actual work well together and with the story. It’s a mix of graffiti art and modern comic art. The look of the comic reminds me of something like the “Static Shock” cartoon, which aired back in 2000-2004. So if you were a fan of that animated series, you would be a fan of this as well.
I can honestly say that “DMC” #1 is nothing like any comic out there right now. Though “DMC” deals with very serious issues, it does it in a way that isn’t too serious and still has parts were it’s just more light-hearted fun. It even has some Run-DMC references that you will catch throughout the book, and who doesn’t like Run-DMC?! If you are a fan of 80’s pop culture, hip-hop, Run-DMC or just want to read something different for a change, then you’ll want to read “DMC” #1.