Comic Book / Plutona
is a five-issue miniseries from Image Comics
drawn by Emi Lenox and written by Jeff Lemire
based on a story conceived by Lenox.
It follows five school-aged children – Mie, Teddy, Diane, Mike, and Ray – who stumble upon the dead body of the world's greatest superhero, Plutona, in the woods. Agreeing to keep the discovery a secret, the five kids unwittingly embark on a tragic Coming-of-Age Story
as their mutual trust and friendship comes into doubt.
Plutona has the following tropes:
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Teddy was once caught masturbating in the school bathroom. He's never lived it down.
- Abusive Parents: Ray's dad is a neglectful alcoholic who can't hold down a job.
- Adult Fear: Teddy's parents know that their son felt sick for a couple days, then went back to school, then disappeared. They will absolutely blame themselves for not knowing more about his feelings in the days before his disappearance. In all likelihood they will never be sure whether he's alive or dead for the rest of their lives.
- Ascended Fanboy: Teddy spends his free time capespotting over the city and keeping detailed journals of superhero exploits. His plan is to use Plutona's powers and costume to become a superhero himself.
- Beneath the Mask: Ray's public face is a jerk but it's clearly to defend himself against criticisms of his terrible family situation. Given the opportunity to hang out with Teddy capespotting or text with Mie, he shows that he really wants friends.
- Blessed with Suck: Mini-taur is a superstrong humanoid at the price of being only a few inches tall.
- Coming-of-Age Story: It takes place in high school as the kids transition from sheltered childhood to the decisions and responsibilities of adulthood.
- Captain Ersatz: C.O.M.Bat is described as some rich guy in combat armor.
- Creepy Child: Mike is a subtle example: he constantly plays his game boy, rarely speaks to anyone, and is easily recruited to Teddy's plan.
- Downer Ending: Plutona turns out not to have been dead after all, but doesn't react well when she realizes what the kids did to her when she was unconscious. Teddy is stabbed and bludgeoned by the other kids during the climax, eventually resulting in his death. Plutona leaves, disgusted; and Teddy's last words are in disbelief that Pluntona, a superhero, would leave them. They are forced to bury his body in the woods, and it doesn't look like they're going to overcome the trauma anytime soon.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Teddy Tugger, for when he was caught masturbating in the school bathroom.
- Fat Best Friend: Diane for Mie.
- Flying Brick: Plutona, though her invulnerability gave out immediately before our story begins.
- Framing Device: The main story is interspersed with a comic book of Plutona, which depicts what she did and what happened to her before the kids found her in the woods.
- Greasy Spoon: Plutona works at one in her secret identity.
- Jerkass: Ray is a bully and openly insults everyone except his abusive father.
- Legacy Character: Plutona tells her daughter that one day she will inherit the Plutona identity.
- Married to the Job: Plutona has a day job as a waitress plus her superhero career. She spends very little time with her teenage daughter.
- Not Quite Dead: It turns out that Plutona was stunned in the supervillain fight, not actually killed.
- Superheroes are treated as celebrities in the newspaper clippings on Teddy's wall. Subjects include romance between Dr. Bio
- Ray's plan on finding Plutona is to take photos and sell them to the media.
- Regular Caller: The Commissioner has a direct line to Plutona that he uses whenever the city needs help.
- Sanity Slippage: Teddy, who was already obsessed with superheroes, steals Plutona's body for himself and begins collecting her blood in the deluded belief that it will give him his own superpowers and make him invincible. He finds out he's wrong the hard way, when his friends end up killing him.
- Secret Identity: Plutona has one, complete with loved ones and a day job.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Ray acts like a jerk because he's insecure about his home situation. Given the opportunity to hang out with people he trusts, he's ok.
- This Cannot Be!: Subdued example. When Plutona flies away, Teddy walks up to his friends, still sporting the wound to his head and looking for the superhero. When the friends tell him that Plutona left, Teddy can't believe it. His disbelief is in the last words he ever speaks.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Inverted example with Plutona and the kids. She thinks the kids (it was really Teddy) cut her fingers, doesn't hear them out, and just tells them to go home.
- When You Coming Home, Dad?: Plutona gets home from her day job just in time for the Commissioner to call her back out. Her daughter begs her for more time, but the city needs its superheroes.