Clap… clap… clap, clap, clap, clap, etc. Holy shit Harris! You threw me for a huge loop and I’m actually even happier that I waited for this issue. The first story arc of this series was terrific, like ground breaking good. This series ventured into territory that no other comic has ever dared to go. It tackled environmental issues, political issues and variety of character issues while being innovative and gorgeous looking. It’s a book dealing with trash and I just said its gorgeous looking! Who the hell ever thought that would happen. Really though, I’m very happy to see this series return the wait has been killing me. Let’s start on the cover since it’s the most honest comic cover you’ll see probably this year. The volume is called “Nation Building” which gives you a solid guess about what it’s referring to… and you’re probably right. The second thing we see is the flag which takes the blue portion of the Texas flag and changes the color of the star to gold. Honestly, look at the Texas flag and you’ll see the inspiration for New Texas’ flag, it’s very clever. After that we see our main characters that we left off with and we notice that they’re wearing uniforms. The last detail is actually probably the one you noticed first and that’s that we’re looking down the scope of a rifle that’s aimed at Chas. I’m telling you right now, this is a very honest cover.Minor Spoilers Ahead!
Shocker, this issue picks up eighteen months after the founding. Meaning a ton of time has passed since we saw New Texas. I was instantly blown away by this because it meant that the world and structure of the comic could have completely changed and in a lot of ways it did. The entire issue read like a first issue and while I benefited from having read the first six issues, any new reader could jump on with this issue and essentially start at the same place as I did.
After getting a quick view of the landscape we’re introduced to a hooded figure wearing red and carrying a bomb. The bomber looks to be female and as they attempt to sneak into the settlement they activate a hologram of Chas welcoming them to New Texas. It was something out of Borderlands 2 and really made me question if this was the same Chas I knew previously or had his ego taken over completely. After a sequence of events we see Chas as he’s chasing the bomber. He’s nearly blown up as the radical attacks the water purifying plant and leaves a calling card of a green circle with an “X” going through it.
Like I said, it read like a first issue. We’re reintroduced to the main characters as if we’ve never met them before. The gist of this story arc is getting New Texas globally recognized and a seat on the UN… if Chas can live to see his plans play out.
The writing is fantastic. To take the idea developed and slowly crafted in the last issue and just abandon it was ballsy, but it paid off. I doubt I’m alone in saying that I would have liked to see more of how the events of the last issue played out, but I could probably never go back after reading this issue. Harris literally rebuilds everything and it’s probably one of the most interesting and well-developed jumping on points for new readers.
I’ve never been disappointed by the art and after seeing how beautiful Morazzo continues to make trash look; I don’t see being disappointed anytime soon. The art continues to be realistic and captures the tone of the story. The coloring gives the series a vibrant look and makes Morazzo’s art amazing. I don’t even know what to say about the art anymore because it’s just so damn pretty to look at.
I thought I knew what to expect from this issue, but it through me for a loop like it always does. That’s probably the thing I like the most about this series is that I couldn’t even begin to guess at where it’s going to go or end up. I couldn’t stop reading this series if I wanted to, but I definitely don’t want to. I’m going to stress it again, if you’re new to the series you can start here and you’re in for a treat.
Writer: Joe Harris
Artist: Martin Morazzo
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 6/12/13