Review: Concrete Park #1

It’s been a while since we last saw Concrete Park, but it’s back with a mini-series all to itself. Previous the series appeared in Dark Horse Presents and eventually the story there was collected into a one-shot issue as well. I’ll admit that even having read the previous story chapters, I still felt lost with the opening. There is a recap which helps some, but overall it’s not a great opening because you feel alienated instantly. While that kind of puts you in Isaac’s shoes, it’s a tough transition for a reader.

Basically the prison ship that was transporting Issac and thousands of other prisoners, including Boza the man responsible for killing Issac’s little sister, has crashed landed before reaching its destination. Luca and her crew have stumbled upon Issac and Boza, who’s missing his legs, but still alive. She’s kind enough to explain what’s happened to him because Issac just woke up on a prison transport and didn’t know what was going on. Apparently he’s been asleep for two years as they transported him to do manual labor below the surface of the planet which is a frozen tundra that kills off a lot of prisoners within their first year, oh and they don’t tell you that until you’re there!

Some scavengers send their drones in looking for remains, but literally only Issac and Boza are left, everything else is just ashes. Luca continues to give Issac the lay of the land as she brings him into the city and tells him he’s a freeman.

24155The first issue feels like it’s all over the place and really it could have done with a few more pages to flesh everything out. Now I’m not saying it’s bad by any means, but it feels condensed and that strains this first issue. The other option would have been to eliminate some character introductions, but I suspect that would have changed the overall pacing of the series.

It is easy to see the different plotlines that Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander have treaded for the story; that’s what will bring people back, that desire to see how these different groups will continue to interact and what’s going on with this planet. The planet is definitely something that wasn’t explored in the DHP chapter of the story and so to see more of it and understand more of it was welcomed and cool. With any sci-fi/futuristic story knowing about the world is a key interest for the story and the creative team makes this world interesting.

Not only does Puryear write, but he also illustrates and colors (with some assistance on the colors) the entire issue. I like his art because the people look realistic. The frames of their bodies in particular closely resemble people in real life. The women all have realistic female forms that aren’t typically found in comics. They have hips, they have asses that match the hips and it’s not cheesecake. Instead they are just full-bodied beautiful women.

I’m glad to see this series is back and I’m definitely looking forward to getting bigger chunks of the story at once. Hopefully this first issue gets the kinks out of the system because I know that once this series gets its rhythm there’s no stopping. We’ve already seen as much with the previous chapter of the story.

Score: 3/5

Writers: Tony Puryear and Erika Alexander Artist: Tony Puryear Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/3/14 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital