Image: Image Comics

The early ’70s were a crazy time. The ’60s brought about major cultural shifts that the world was still adjusting to while international relations became increasingly fraught, and these two threads converge in the new Image Comics miniseries Mayday, an espionage thriller jacked up on sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. Writer Alex De Campi has done exceptional work in this genre with her Smoke and Ashes comics, and Mayday is the start of a planned trilogy of miniseries that explores the U.S. and Russia’s tense relationship as it tracks the evolution of rock ’n’ roll in the early ’70s, which adds swagger and style to the spy narrative.

These preview pages of Mayday #1 introduce KGB agents Felix and Rose, who blast Led Zeppelin as they ride through the southern California desert. They meet a trio of hippies that distract them from their mission when they all get wasted on a bottle of vodka laced with LSD and sodium pentothal, and the rush of alcohol, hallucinogens, and barbiturates sends the story in a very psychedelic direction. Artist Tony Parker did gorgeous work with psychedelic imagery for his Dark Horse miniseries This Damned Band, and De Campi gives Parker and colorist Blond the opportunity to experiment with linework, composition, and palette in the mind-bending climax of the first issue.

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The one-page tease of Felix and Rose’s trip is beautiful and terrifying at the same time, and the whirlwind of sex, rage, joy, and fear is a stark contrast to the controlled storytelling that precedes it. Readers can get swept up in the sensuality and suspense when Mayday #1 hits stands on November 2, but in the meanwhile, The A.V. Club has an exclusive excerpt to get them jonesing.

Image: Image Comics; cover by Tony Parker
Image: Image Comics

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Image: Image Comics
Image: Image Comics
Image: Image Comics

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Image: Image Comics
Image: Image Comics