By Dustin Cabeal
Broken is a digital fighter story in the vein of Pokemon or any story that pairs a fighter with a trainer in the hope of seeking ultimate glory. It doesn’t try to hide this fact which is why I’m being up front with it because the catch to all stories like this is the characters and journey. The formula is simple and works well over and over, but it’s the previously mentioned elements that determine its longevity.
We meet our first character, a digital character that after losing a battle is discarded by her owner. After that, we meet Patrick as he defeats a character that should have his number. He wins the battle though and saves his friend’s “Scarp” character from being claimed. There’s some foreshadowing about where the story is going to go, and eventually, Patrick and his friends run into some bullies. It’s here that we learn about Patrick’s philosophy on Scrap fighters, that they’re all created equal, and it’s the trainer the determines the fight. The bullies disagree and point out that the same characters are always seen on the national stage. Eventually, they take Patrick’s Scrap fighter and throw it in some food like substance that the school is making.
Patrick now needs a new scrap fighter but doesn’t have money to buy one. A strange and disgusting neighbor offers to buy him one if he cleans out his house. It turns out the dude is a hoarder and periodically offers young boys gifts to clean out his trash. He makes good on his offer to Patrick… in a jerk kind of way. Remember the first thing I told you about this issue… yeah… that happens.
I’ll be honest; I enjoy this first issue. It rambles on a bit too much at times, and Patrick’s philosophy is given a lot of time, but then how many times did Ash say, “I’m going to be the best, I’m going to catch them all”? I just wish that Patrick’s mantra was that short and sweet. Otherwise, the writing is very sharp. The characters all have unique voices, and there’s a sense of their personality. There is a bit of a tone shift at the end in which the story gets goofy, but it was a nice change of pace at that point.
The artwork is wonderful. Not only is it clean and very professional looking, but it fit the genre perfectly. Broken is kid friendly, but great for adults as well. That sentiment goes for the writing too by the way. The game interface isn’t out of place, and there’s a vibe that this story is happening in the not too distant future. It’s the fun kind of future where we have lazy floating chairs instead of fighting for oil and food. There are two colorists, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the book. It’s consistent from beginning to end and makes the art look like a Saturday morning cartoon, and I mean that it best possible way. Just looking at Broken made me not only want to read it but to read more of it.
If Pokemon Go gave you the itch to enjoy a similar story, but without watching the original Pokemon and going “I enjoyed this at some point?” then maybe you should check out Broken instead. It has a huge potential as a series, and I hope that it continues to find an audience. As I said, in the beginning, to be successful in this genre, it’s the characters and journey, and right now Broken is doing an incredible job with both.
Writer: Johnny Parker II
Artist: Jose Garcia
Colorists: Paola Rodriguez, Prajak Janpate
Press Release For Kickstarter
In the future, the world’s most popular video game is Scrap Battle. An integrated reality game, like Pokémon Go’, but the game features visors that allow a player to see their character in front of them, as if they exist in the real world. The player can talk to their character, train their character, and win with their character, by going out and battling other players in tournaments for success, money and fame.
Our story’s main character Patrick loves playing this game, and thoroughly believes that with hard work and determination, you can succeed at this game and in life. However, one day some bullies smash his favorite character, leaving him to play with a character he found in the trash, a Princess character named Erin. Backed into a corner, Patrick must find a way to rise through the adversity to prove that he can win his new friend Erin. Especially with a destitute family and ailing mother counting on his success, but little does he know, Erin will be helping in her own special, because she is a secret character with many hidden abilities that make her "Broken."
Broken is the beginning of new ongoing series from writer/creator Johnny Parker II and illustrator Jose Garcia. Broken is in the process of seeking funding for its first print run through Kickstarter, with a campaign launching on Tuesday April 18, 2017, and ending on Friday May19, 2017.
For more information on this exciting new series, and to view the art work and first pages, please visit the Kick Starter campaign via this link: http://kck.st/2oQSuvr