Review: Ipso Facto #1-2

This series is what is referred to as a “high concept” story. Meaning that scope of the idea is huge and not easily summed up. After reading the first two issues it’s pretty obvious to me what’s happening, but in general there are still some unanswered questions that I suspect will only be answered from continuing with the series, which I will be doing. There are elements of this story that should remind you of other sci-fi stories and while I’m not going to pretend that I know the creator’s influences, it personally reminded me a bit of V with a mix of Doctor Who and a reverse Alien Nation. Again, I’m not saying that all of those are perfectly represented, but there are hints of their influence to me and it works.

The story begins with a satellite launching into space, but there is something unusual about this satellite. Its launch has changed the destiny of mankind as we know it. We meet our main character Mosel after that as he wakes up in his rich beautiful girlfriends bed. As he goes to the bathroom he sees a blinding light in the mirror and suddenly a man wearing a neckerchief is standing behind him. Mose wakes up back in bed again and comments on what a weird dream it was, but then the same man is there again. He disappears as suddenly as he came as Mose’s girlfriend Riley wakes up. They have a morning spat and Mose decides to take off to home and check in with his mother. They share a moment in French with seems to quell their fight and then Mose grabs some flowers that he planted on Riley’s roof for her birthday. He takes off though after he seemingly hears her thoughts. At home Mosel’s mother greets him with a slap and an insult directed towards his girlfriend and then some more mumbo jumbo from her mouth.

Ipso Facto - Book 1-1After that the story heads to South Africa and follows what appears to be a normal man. He walks past two men fighting and suddenly both men’s disposition changes and their arguing stops. He then stops in front of a security camera and delivers a message looking straight into the camera and then disappears. Back in the Marker monitoring station in North America we see a flood of messages conveying the same message of “peace I’m out” as an exodus of aliens leave the planet. There last words are all the same, “All that to you is good.” This causes confusion with the Marker’s because they’ve been watching these aliens and their population has never decreased. They’re completely lost until one of the agents delivers a custom message that was left for her. He basically tells them that the satellite that their bosses launched is the beginning of the end of them and that they knew of the Marker’s existence the entire time.

The story only gets bigger and more complex from there. As with any sci-fi world there are a lot of characters or more accurately groups of characters. Mosel is the key to everything, but as the man that’s stalking him continues to tell him, he need to remember who he is. I would definitely label this story as a “mind bender” as the concept of reality is constantly warped or played with in some small way. At times it feels as if there are many realities at once, but other instances give the book a Days Missing feel of time travel. I got the basic gist of the story; an alien race came to earth to ensure that we naturally progress the way we’re meant to. At some point though we became aware of them and so things changed and now we’ve made a choice that they can no longer help us with. How exactly Mosel will be able to save this and what other challenges he’ll have to face isn’t clear yet, but I’m interested. I’m also very curious about the King Maker and the self-described King of Kings’ King.

In general the writing is very good and the only aspect of the story that struggles in the narration. There is so much information in the beginning pages of the story and none of it has context to the reader yet. After reading the second issue, it made more sense, but for that first instance it’s just words on the page and not a strong introduction to the main character. Even though the French aspect was explained, it felt incredibly forced upon the story. I have a feeling that it will come into play again and when it does I hope that it feels natural to the story.

Ipso Facto - Book 2-1The art is top notch and very realistic looking. Each page is incredibly detailed and makes the story look photorealistic. It really captured the planet and made it look as if you were bouncing around the entire globe; especially when you do just that in the second issue. The character designs were very good as well and the art style reminded me a bit of Gary Frank’s style. The coloring was also superb and gave the pages a vibrant look.

I’m not sure if all aspects of this series is going to work or if the high concept idea is so big that it never fully plays out, but for right now I’m really liking this series. There really aren’t many sci-fi comic books on the market right now that don’t end up being superhero titles, but Ipso Facto is sci-fi through and through. At its very core it’s a “chosen one will save the planet” story, but there’s a reason that we love those stories… their entertaining and fun. If you dig sci-fi, especiallyDays Missing then I would definitely check out this series.

Score: 4/5

Writer: J.R. Rothenberg

Artist: Jason Badower

Colorist: Annette Kwok

Pubisher: Ipso Facto Books

Price: $3.50 Print and $1.99 Digital