Eat The Rich #1: The Horrors of Class in the 21st Century (Once Again)
Eat The Rich is Boom Studios' latest horror series taking a look at a wealthy family, and the struggle of one member's girlfriend trying to fit in and realizing that she definitely is not. In a similar tone as Get Out, Ready or Not, and You're Next, this series from creators Sarah Gailey and Pius Bak does a solid job of setting the stakes and weaving an ominous foreshadowing, but does little to set itself apart from a number of other properties that traveled a similar road before it.
In the debut issue, readers are given a compelling character to follow in Joey, a young woman whose boyfriend Astor comes from an affluent family. Joey is now stuck spending the summer with said family as she attempts to figure out the best way she can fit in with a pack of rich jackals that have something even more sinister brewing beneath the surface. Joey's character works in this opening installment, with Gailey taking fans inside of her head and demonstrating her isolation while attempting to blend in with Astor's family and navigating her way through a scenario that grows stranger with each passing second.
Astor's twisted family is fairly "by the numbers" when it comes to an evil collection of aristocrats, with one party scene on a pier doing the heavy lifting when it comes to showing just how out of her depth Joey is. Eat The Rich does a good job of laying out a number of hints and clues that point readers in a certain direction, but it could have used more flair and shock when it comes to bucking those expectations. Perhaps this is something that will be addressed as the series lurches forward, but it reads as a missed opportunity here.
One of the most notable moments is when the youngest member of Astor's family, Cartwright, is watched by the family's nanny Petal. Cartwright finds an extremely unsettling object in the sand, to which neither Joey nor Petal seem to react in the slightest, which left me scratching my head as to why neither would have noticed that Cartwright was holding a piece of someone's jaw. Again, this could be answered later but it didn't lead me to ask questions so much as stare in puzzlement.
The most notable highlights of the first issue come from its dialogue, as Gailey nails the characters she created from the very first panel in which they appear. In the aforementioned beach sequence, Petal and Joey have a recognizable conversation where the "help" hints at menace in a far better fashion than any severed body parts. The character work is where Eat The Rich is able to shine and I anticipate seeing where these characters progress in upcoming issues.
Bak's artwork does its job for the most part, though there are several panels that I think could have used a fresh coat of paint or a once over in relation to the character work or environments they present. The colors by Roman Titov are quite fetching as they paint an eye-popping setting at the beach where Astor's family resides. I would be remiss to not mention that Titov's work does a fantastic job of highlighting Joey's isolation from time to time, as well.
Eat The Rich reads as revisiting well-trodden ground, singing a tune that we've encountered more than a few times in recent years without giving readers a clear hook to differentiate this story from the pack. While this may be a case of the series as a whole turning out better than its introduction, the first issue clearly could have been so much more.
Published by Boom Studios
On August 18, 2021
Written by Sarah Gailey
Art by Pius Bak
Colors by Roman Titov
Letters by Cardinal Rae
Cover by Kevin Tong0comments