Homicidal Crash Test Dummies Need Love Too: Reviewing ‘Sweet Downfall’ #1

‘Jonny is an old-model crash test dummy who’s been repurposed as a hitman for the Don Vito Coriaci of sprawling ocean bound city-state Santa Clara City. Jonny is loyal and follows orders to the T, until his latest mission when he’s tasked with bringing in a mermaid, a delicacy with healing properties When Johnny falls in love with the mermaid and decides to save her, the chase is on!’

Sweet Downfall’s blurb sets this thing up appropriately. Crash test dummy-turned-hitman Jonny goes into business for himself when he starts defying the orders of the local crime boss Don Vito Coriaci. Don Vito sends some lesser goons after his rogue goon. It doesn’t end well for those cats. We don’t meet the mermaid straight off, but she’ll be coming around soon.

As odd as Sweet Downfall sounds, it actually incorporates a lot of very familiar themes, with sentient robots, mafia tropes, dystopian post-apocalyptic society, hero’s journey… A lot to take in, but Stefano Cardoselli serves it up in manageable chunks.

Cardoselli’s linework reminds me of James Stokoe’s work on Orc Stain and Aliens: Dead Orbit. Ridiculously detailed, strangely familiar, bizarrely grotesque, and oddly satisfying, with lots of little Easter eggs and callbacks. (Check out the brand name of that chainsaw in the dismemberment scene.)

Sweet Downfall is exactly the kind of weird little indie I’m always looking out for. Robots, mafia dons, edible mythical creatures, and blood spatter all over the pages. I’m here for it. Let’s kick this pig.


Sweet Downfall #1, Scout Comics, 27 January 2021. Story and art by Stefano Cardoselli, color by Panta Rea, letters by Bram Meehan.

‘Jonny is an old-model crash test dummy who’s been repurposed as a hitman for the Don Vito Coriaci of sprawlingCOMICONRead More

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