By Dustin Cabeal
Reviews like this one are the hardest. No one wants to write a bad review for something, and when you’re a site that’s willing to cover indie comics, it’s even harder. You want to see the little guys succeed, but if there’s one thing you can count on from the site, it’s that nothing gets a free pass.
Detropia isn’t an unfamiliar storyline. Dangerous kids being outlawed by society. It’s like Lord of the Flies plus Peter Pan or a similar way to look at it, Battle Royale without the game of death. The problem with Detropia isn’t that the story is familiar. It’s that none of the characters are likable. Hell, I’m still not sure who exactly the main characters are? Is it the leader of the kid society/the guy on the cover? Because if so, he’s the mostly unlikable person in the comic. He has zero heart and has the perfect set up for a villain waiting to be overthrown.
If it’s the brother and sister duo, then the story failed them. All they do in the issue is dump exposition upon the reader. They have some tragic backstory involving their family that’s hinted at, but enough is given away that it’s not particularly interesting either.
In the middle of the story a bunch of the kids that gather food from dumpsters, practice running through the trees. It’s a weird scene because it makes you wonder what’s up with the forest? Why is everything close enough together that they can parkour through everything and not break a single branch? There was seemingly no point to the scene other than to say, “this is how we escape from the adults” and to rack one of the characters.
The artwork isn’t bad. It’s not great, and there are times when the shadowing is overkill. The faces change a lot due to proportions not being maintained and an overall basic design being used for everyone. It’s not a style I gravitate too, but it’s competent.
I don’t particularly know where the story is going and I’m not sure I care to find out. As I said, none of the characters are likable. I don’t know how to root for, and it just seems like everyone deserves each other. It’s not even one of those unfortunate moments in which you want to like something, but can’t. I just simply didn’t enjoy anything I read. There’s a glimmer of a cool concept here, but that’s the only positive I can find.