I reached a point with this first issue of Fractal in which I felt as a reader I wasn’t given enough information about what was going on in the story, but that the story assumed I was up to speed on everything. That’s kind of the problem with Fractal, it assumes too much and shows too little. The story opens with what seems to be a completely pointless scene. We meet a security agent in the future as he and others are on high alert. Suddenly a woman speaking gibberish to him shows up and he figures out that a bomb is coming. We move several months into the future which wasn’t clear at first. The creators cleverly hide the date into the panel implying that in the future the time and date are just on screens everywhere, but the font and color make it hard to read. When time passes, it shouldn’t be cleverly added to the scene, but rather painfully clear to the reader.
Nine months later our main character Bryce is getting back into the swing of things and here’s where it gets confusing. We have no idea what his job duties are, but he’s out and doing them. Checking an elevator… for some reason. He mentions another person’s name and unfortunately we have too few names so at this point and I assumed it was his boss he was talking to because we haven’t meet or seen anyone else talk. That was wrong, it wasn’t the boss.
At any rate Bryce ends up causing some commotion at the party he ends up crashing and an old dude makes the entire floor of the building disappear and somehow this doesn’t make the building collapse. Then we meet the character he was talking about, but what was more confusing was that he had never meet her before either. Why are they working together? No idea. We get a bunch of background info about them socializing online, but not with a clear understanding of what they were talking to each other about or how they found each other. Then they raid some facility and take on some robots.
I’m going to start with the art since it was actually pretty good, but it needed to be a touch cleaner. This future is a little Robocopy in places, but overall it’s clean. Bryce comments on society being jacked, but then most of what we see is pretty advanced and cool looking. The art has a lot of extra lines and details that make it look too used and dirty. It just needed to tone it down. The main character kind of looks and dresses like Jax from Mortal Kombat. It’s not bad at all, but I was distracted by that. The art is okay. The secondary characters are given little to no detail and so they don’t stand out and sometimes just look bad. Otherwise it’s detailed and stylized.
For the story… it’s not terrible, but as I said it assumes too much and wastes a lot of this thirty plus pages on conversations that don’t build the story, the plot or the characters. It really needed to establish the connection between Bryce and his contact and even having read it I still really don’t understand what their goal is in working together or why it’s necessary. Really that’s the only and biggest problem with the writing because it affects the dialogue, the pacing and the plot. Fix that problem and the story makes a lot more sense.
I really don’t know if I would read the next issue of this series. Probably not since it didn’t present a scenario that I was interested in and left too much of the mystery to be revealed later. Right now all I know is that a floor of a building disappeared… and that’s just not enough to really have me hooked on reading more.
Fractal #1 Writer: Daejuan Jacobs Artist: Buci Publisher: Legends Press Price: $3.99 Format: Digital Website