For a reviewer Broken World #1 is really hard to talk about. I mean how do you talk about an issue that basically hinges on several points in the story that are total spoilers? It honestly doesn’t leave me a lot to say about the book since the very thing that makes it good is the spoilers… but hey let’s give it a shot! The story takes place in the future which is important to note because in this future the landscape of our society looks a bit different. On our first page we see a family heading towards what’s basically a space elevator and the caption “Three Hours Until Impact.”
Did you see Deep Impact or the lesser known Armageddon? Well there’s a big ass asteroid heading towards the earth, but the thing is we actually have an escape plan in place. People are being zipped off the planet via the space elevators and put on “Arks” to go off and find a new planet. The problem of course is that there’s just not enough space for everyone and so some people have been deemed unsuitable to leave earth and join mankind on its next leg of the journey.
That is one of the many interesting things about this story as it looks at the doomsday scenario from different angles. Sure the most blatant is the fact that the government is choosing who lives and who dies based on their own criteria. This of course adds a lot of tension between those that are being left behind and those going. Can you trust the government becomes the big question.
Then there’s the religious aspect of it as a cult has risen up and approved by the government. The cult’s mission statement is that you shouldn’t wait for death and rather “take yourself out of the game” before the asteroid hits.
This is all wrapped around the mystery of why our main character Elena Marlowe has been blacklisted from leaving the planet. Her problem is that she hasn’t told her husband who happens to work for the company in charge of the actual evacuation. From there we see her life; college professor, mother, loving wife. What exactly did Elena do in her life to get blacklisted from the new society? Hopefully that’s enough to hook you on the story because I can’t really give you any more details than that.
Overall I liked the issue. It’s not an issue that you’ll instantly like, that is to say you need to hit certain plot points and finish reading the issue to have an overall understanding of everything that you’ve read. Personally I like it when an issue can hook me like that. It’s obviously not a story device that can work for every issue in a series, but it’s quite effective here because I definitely want to come back for the next issue.
Things that seemed pretty insignificant at the beginning of the issue have a different meaning by the end. Because of that, I really liked it. Even if there wasn’t a catchy cliffhanger I would be back to solve the mystery around Elena. What a character by the way. She comes across as an average person. She’s timid at times, paternal at others and extremely relatable. Her entire life is relatable which is probably why I find her story so fascinating.
The art is solid and plays an important role in the setting and tone of the story. It looks and feels like the future which is important, but more importantly it doesn’t feel like our future. It’s like an alternative timeline because really it’s not that far into the future and yet it doesn’t feel like this earth. The character designs are again solid, but nothing to really phone home about. It does make all the characters, and again the world, relatable as they look like you or I. The backgrounds varied too much for my liking. Sometimes they were vibrant and full of detail (even if they were kept to one color tone), but other times they were empty and it really snapped you out of the story or scene.
The biggest reason I have to come back for the next issue is the fact that I have no idea what’s going to happen. Really this feels like a zero issue because the true story is going to begin next issue. There are a lot of comics with stories about the future out right now, but if you want one that’s not trying to be cool and instead tell a story with many layers while being relatable, then check out Broken World.