I am a huge fan of the series Giant Days by John Allison and one of the guys at my comic book store told me that if I liked that series I definitely needed to check out Bad Machinery. After finishing the latest issue of Giant Days I have been looking for something to fill the void while I wait for the next book and Bad Machinery filled the void perfectly.
The first volume of Bad Machinery is a collection of the story The Case of the Team Spirit. There are six core characters in the series, who have divided themselves into two teams. While they might not hangout together very often, the boys and the girls wind up connected by a football team. Allison’s stories are all set in England so for Americans it’s a soccer team. Not only are they all dealing with strange footballer happenings, they are transitioning to a new upper tier school.
The boys, Jack, Linton, and Sonny, attempt to break a curse that Linton insists is ruining the Tackleford City club. The curse is so bad that a satellite crashes into the pitch during a game. The girls, Shauna, Charlotte, and Mildred, are trying to help a poor old woman named Mrs. Biscuits save her home from the owner of City, who plans to build a brand new stadium on the land. While each group deals with the main mystery events they also have to deal with events in their own lives. Shauna has a problem with bullies, Charlotte is trying to get Shauna to accept Mildred as part of their friend group, Mildred wants to eat food her vegan mom forbids, Jack is dealing with a lot of attention from his older sisters friends, Linton just wants to save his football club, and Sonny tries to make sure everything goes smoothly for his friends. That might sound like a lot, but it all flows so smoothly together and makes for a diverse and interesting story.
The characters in Bad Machinery are younger than Allison’s Giant Days characters, but his writing is so much fun that no matter how old you are they will make you smile. They face issues typical kids face when they grow up and that makes them so easy to relate to. For instance I still sleep in as late as possible and rarely eat breakfast before work just like Charlotte does before she goes to school. There are also fun little elements of the supernatural in this first volume. The curse they uncover is really a curse, but it has a fun twist that I wasn’t expecting. I highly recommend the first volume of Bad Machinery and personally I can’t wait for the rest of the books to be released by Oni Press. You should also check out Giant Days. It’s such a good series I literally ran back into my comic book store to pick it up one week when I realized the new volume had been released.
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