Review: Cryptocracy #1

[su_service title="Cryptocracy" icon="icon: bookmark"]



An Illuminati story?  Really?  Not the freshest of fresh ideas…

The first splash page presents you with a brief overview, “Nine families rule the world.  Each adheres to a strict organizational structure.”  Before proceeding to tell you about the ‘nine circles,’ which represent how deep you are inside the Cryptocracy.  It’s a nice overview, but heavy exposition so early on in a book doesn’t tend to bode well.

Cryptocracy #1I flipped to the next page and didn’t like it very much.  Pete Woods’ pencil work here is not a style I usually enjoy but that could just be personal taste.  I was ready to give a big proverbial thumbs down to this book but then, something happened…

…I became interested; I began to smile.  Conspiracy clichés abound but thanks to the writing of Van Jensen this book also has a penchant for self-deprecation.  The author knows he’s writing “yet another conspiracy story” but makes it up to us through quippy dialogue and enjoyable oddities such as a giant talking bear sidekick and an alien that telepathically wipes people’s brain over a Pepsi, I love it!  Sure the conspiracy references to Roswell, J.F.K., and secret bunkers might make your eyes roll, but on the next page there’s a little nugget to force a smirk from even the most humourless comic book reader.

The colours in Cryptocracy are strong, and beautifully convey this clandestine (and somewhat sci-fiey) world.  This is further enhanced through dialogue and subtle pop culture references that all help bring the world to life.

I’m sure you can imagine the basis of the plot, the Cryptocracy/Illuminati have been steering human development throughout the ages and even those involved don’t know just how deep the rabbit hole goes.  Where things get interesting is towards the end of the book when we learn that now the families of the Cryptocracy are being hunted.  But by whom?  Classic cliffhanger stuff here, folks, and it made me curious to find out who’s behind it all.  That’s what a conspiracy story is supposed to do.

Is this book perfect?  Absolutely not, it’s positively eye-roll worthy at times.  I read the first couple of pages and wanted to hate it, but like a fine wine it improved with time.  I don’t know if this trend will continue in the future and I’ve certainly read stronger first issues, but is it OK for me to just want to see more of the huge talking bear and pop guzzling alien?  I think so but you’ll have to decide for yourselves.

[su_box title="Score: 3/5" style="glass" box_color="#8955ab" radius="6"]

Cryptocracy #1
Writer: Van Jensen
Artist: Pete Woods
Publisher:  Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: 6/29/16
Format: Ongoing; Print/Digital