Dark Horse Comics’ Survival Street #1

  • Survival Street #1 cover

    Survival Street #1

    James Asmus, Jim Festante

    Abylay Kussainov

    Taylor Esposito

    Cover Artist:
    Abylay Kussainov

    Dark Horse Comics


    Release Date:

    Ellie Wright

When the corporations take over the United States of America, only the Muppets can save everyone from the new regime of terror and its profit-driven plans. Written by James Asmus and Jim Festante, drawn by Abylay Kussainov, colored by Ellie Wright, and lettered by Taylor Esposito, Dark Horse Comics’ Survival Street #1 is the gritty Sesame Street satire that no one knew they needed. The parody works surprisingly well because of the creative team’s passionate message.

Survival Street #1 introduces the reader to a future where corporations have taken over the political landscape and molded the country in their image. They make the rules and create their own version of the “truth.” Part of their dastardly plan is to remove edutainers from public broadcasting. What the suits in power don’t bank on, however, is the Muppets who become action heroes and refuse to accept this new status quo as gospel. They’re prepared to fight back — through any means necessary.

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Asmus and Festante’s writing on Survival Street #1 is both witty and sharp. There’s absolutely no secret which characters and situations it is parodying. In many ways, its humor is in its audacity. But underneath the jokes, there’s a stinging social commentary that pulls no punches in its discussion of politics, capitalism, and inequality. There are moments in the issue that might seem like they’re outrageous or over the top until the readers realize many of these scenes are inspired by real-life events. It isn’t too hard to imagine the world of Survival Street coming to fruition in the not-too-distant future.

Kussainov successfully creates a new aesthetic to reflect the puppet post-apocalypse. It leans into the absurd when it needs to, but it still maintains a sensible grittiness to evoke the seriousness of the topics at hand. Kussainov allows the scenes to breathe, rotating the panels from character to character so the readers can gauge everyone’s thoughts and emotions. The action layouts also deserve a special mention here, as this singular issue’s clashes and skirmishes put many modern superhero comic books to shame.

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Similarly, Wright deserves to take a bow for his colors in Survival Street #1, since the dystopian hue of the panels adds to the brooding atmosphere. Somehow, the colorist has figured out a way of balancing the bright and colorful puppets with the grimness of their society. The puppets are bright, hopeful lights in this dark world. Esposito gets moments to play around in the lettering department, too. He utilizes different styles and approaches for the various characters and situations. Although, it would be great to see the lettering get even looser and wilder in future issues.

There’s no disputing that Survival Street #1 is a smart book with a resounding, powerful message. It wears its politics on its sleeve proudly. While the book might have made initial headlines for being the gritty version of Sesame Street, the first issue proves that there’s more to this story than simply being a gimmick.

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Written by Politixia

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