21 Down

 21DO   (WildStorm, 2002-2003)

™ and ©2002 WildStorm Productions, an imprint of DC Comics

The premise of 21 Down is simple: Man receives unexplained powers on his 20th birthday and has one year to live and use said powers to the best of his abilities. The comic book starts two days after Preston’s 20th birthday, where the reader learns of his powers (insert spoiler here) and what he really thinks about them. He is not a big fan, naturally. It seems that, in comic books when younger characters are given super-powers, they either embrace them wholeheartedly or despise themselves for having them. There seems to be no in-between.

What makes this comic book truly worth reading is that there are no tights. Preston is in some ways not truly likeable. The opening scenes will definitely draw comparisons to Fight Club, with Preston going to a cancer support group. Unlike Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club, though, Preston is actually dying. But that three-page tangent was the only disappointing part of the issue, and it was used to provide background.

The writing by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray is superb. The creators admit in the book that it has a connective theme to Gen13, but 21 Down has more grit than Gen13. The amazing pencils by Jesús Saiz and great colors by Paul Mounts make for an original, life-like look.

With cover art by Joe Jusko and a great story, the $2.95 price for 21 Down is really a steal.

— Nathan Melby

Jump to issue:
  NotesWriterArtist

#1

  11/1/2002
  $2.95
  $1.75
12 copies available from $0.96
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz

#2

  12/1/2002
  $2.95
  $1.75
11 copies available from $0.92
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz

#3

  1/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.00
7 copies available from $0.92
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz

#4

  2/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.50
5 copies available from $0.96
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz

#5

  3/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.25
3 copies available from $1.75
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz

#6

  4/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.50
2 copies available from $2.00
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz

#7

  5/1/2003
  $2.95
  $1.50
5 copies available from $0.68
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz

#8

  6/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.00
3 copies available from $1.75
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz

#9

  7/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.50
2 copies available from $2.00
 Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz, Jimmy Palmiotti

#10

  6/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.50
No copies available
 Jimmy PalmiottiJustin Gray

#11

  7/1/2003
  $2.95
  $2.25
4 copies available from $1.50
 Jimmy PalmiottiJustin Gray

#12

  9/1/2003
  $2.95
  $4.50
2 copies available from $3.99
 Jimmy PalmiottiJustin Gray

Book #1

  1/1/2004
  $19.95
  $18.00
2 copies available from $9.99
Collects 21 Down #1–7Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin GrayJesus Saiz