This comic has a very captivating high concept. By 2085, the government has collapsed, and cities become fiefdoms of warlords, warlords sporting money and planning moves from skyscraper’s window offices: corporations. It’s a comic expressing a very Houstonian feeling, the glue and resentment binding the economy together. Oil corporations have easy access for gulf operations, and have set up offices across its downtown across from a wealth of locally owned restaurants who are happily patronized by the men in suits returning to work often twenty stories or more higher than the restaurant.
This relationship continues to an exaggerated degree in the setting of the comic. In what Mark Schmidt described to me as “X-Men in the Judge Dredd Universe” while cheerfully selling me a copy at a comic convention”, we are given lots of characters wronged by the Corporations and they are guinea pigs for an experimental cure for a deadly disease sweeping the countryside. Gifted powers with the experimental cure, and angry for having been enslaved by warlords, we start to see the heroes fight back.
It’s a self published comic that also goes to help other creators free of the Corporation’s menace: they want you to send submissions for other comics they can publish. They also slap a Marvel Comics Encyclopedia style biography at the end of #1, a feature I hope they continue doing. While a heavy cast burdens the comic with a lot of ground to cover in making its characters memorable, the comic succeeds in establishing its cast, and I want to find out more about all the characters. With a playful art style giving unique perspectives to shots, and an artist for the first issue that resembles Carmine Infantino sleekness to Daniel Wichens, more given to Duncan Rouleau’s crinkly stylizations, and this comic looks like a hidden 90’s cartoon with more dark undertones than a desperate student can find in twelve lines of Shakespeare.
Mark Schmidt, the scripter and letterer, and a consistent inker and colorist give the comic a consistent, and kind of telling, shift as the comic moves from an explanation of its past and world building to all out action.
It’s the kinda comic that makes you want to find out more. With the publisher still going hard to every convention, although a year has passed between each issue, and they’re up to #4 now, this is a self published comic that feels good to get behind. Great paper stock and a complete lack of ads across its 32 pages of story make the $5 well spent.