(Boom! Studios 2015)
Written by Frank J. Barbiere
Illustrated by Christopher Peterson
Colors by Marissa Louise
Letters by Ed Dukeshire
Frank J. Barbiere has a pretty great record in comics. His Five Ghosts was a successful Kickstarter project that proved so popular that Image Comics picked it up and made it an ongoing series. White Suits debuted to good numbers. His newest series from Boom! Studios is called Broken World. Issue two came out this week.
In the first issue we saw exactly how the world was broken. An asteroid, predicted to be on a collision course with Earth, caused a mass evacuation of the planet. The coming destruction also provides a solution. The gravitational disturbance from the coming space rock allows for the construction of “arks” aboard which the bulk of humanity to escape to space where they will go into hibernation until a new planet can be found. The problem is that there isn’t enough room for everyone, and the government is the ones issuing passes.
Elena is a psychology professor, her husband and son are ready to board the last of the arks, when her false passport is flagged and she’s pulled away. The ark is shot into space, and Elena is left along on a doomed Earth.
But not so much.
The scientists who predicted the collision were, in fact, wrong, and the Earth is spared. 90% of the population is gone, floating in space, and Elena is stuck on the planet with the “unwanted” 10 %, which include everyone from religious zealots called “Children of the Revelation” to any other random person who was left behind. Elena has decided that she’s going to try to get off planet and find her husband and son.
In the first issue, as Elena was being pulled away from her child…ugh…it was pretty gut wrenching. There were clues throughout that it wasn’t going to end well, and as far as we know her family is still alive, but dang, that was tough to read. But it was a perfect motivator to read the second issue.
In issue 2, three months have passed, and the euphoria survivors feel is still present. Elena has buried her pain to survive, but it is ever present just beneath the surface. It comes out in quiet moments in the script, illustrated beautifully by Christopher Peterson. It’s these small scenes that bring about the humanity of the book. This image in particular I found to be heart breaking, perfectly showing how the little things can really bring everything into focus.
Broken World is a story about humanity, those left behind, and the quest for redemption. There is still a lot of mystery to the story, about Elena’s past, her husband’s, and the reasons that the government chose to who to evacuate. It’s fascinating story telling and another feather in the cap of Frank J. Barbiere and Christopher Peterson.
Twitter – brad@comicwasteland