I was smart when I was in diapers. Now I’m more in the unparalleled genius range. — Quentin Quire – Wolverine and the X-Men #5
I was smart when I was in diapers. Now I’m more in the unparalleled genius range.
A Friendly Game is the story of Todd & Kevin two best friends who begin a creepy and twisted game. Todd quickly becomes obsessed with the game and he tries to coerce Kevin to keep playing, eventually leaving Kevin with some tough decisions as he must choose between his best friend and doing the right thing.
We jump right into the story with Kevin and Todd playing board games, they quickly tire and look for something else to do. Kevin shows Todd a mouse trap with a dead mouse caught in it and the boys decide to cut it open. Flash forward a couple of months and this time the boys have a half dead mouse. They begin a game of killing it with rocks for points, points being awarded for cruelty. This ends the prologue, we jump ahead again and this time Kevin and Todd are trying to lure a puppy with a treat tied to a string. This is where the story really starts up as we see that Todd is clearly uncomfortable with what they are doing.
This story is really interesting, with the look and feel of an after school special, complete with art resembling that of friendly cartoon characters and a young child trying to decide between right and wrong. Now to leave it at that would be deceiving as A Friendly Game would probably give most kids nightmares. The story is definitely for an older audience, with a lot of disturbing imagery and some serious morality issues. Whoever decided on keeping this book black and white also did this comic a huge favour, the lack of color really helps set the mood and keeps the reader believing in the cruelty committed by what would appear to be two innocent boys.
The strength and weakness of this story lies in the fact that it’s structured like any of the crime shows playing on TV nowadays. What sets it apart is the insane pleasure taken by a child in committing these acts of unrestrained violence versus the helplessness of a child dealing with a situation that is completely insane. While I wouldn’t recommend this to everybody, I will say that anyone looking for an intense story, with a bit of craziness and a taste for blood should check this out.