Broken World #1
- Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
- Artist: Christopher Peterson
- Published by: BOOM! Studios
- Publish Date: June 3, 2015, Pages: 24
- Notes: First issue of a new monthly series.
“Broken World is a gripping sci-fi thriller and survival adventure great for fans of Y: The Last Man or The Massive. Barbiere and co-creator/artist Christopher Peterson (Grindhouse, Mayday) will explore the lives of people left behind in the apocalypse.What It Is: With a meteor days away from causing an extinction-level event on Earth, time is running out for Elena Marlowe. While most of the planet’s population and her family were approved by the government to escape on one of the giant spaceships headed to another planet, her application was denied due to her mysterious past. With the meteor fast approaching, Elena tries desperately to find a way to fake her way onto the last ship or else be left behind to die with the rest of Earth’s rejected denizens.”
Personal Thoughts (with spoilers):
Broken World is an interesting small-scale end of the world drama.
I feel there is not enough of this type of storytelling in these lands of comics. Apocalypse dramas are often grand and scary with some war, maybe zombies, perhaps a plague involved. But not this time, as the end results ahead are not our fault, it all seems. We readers learn of a big rock, coming straight for us; the extinction level event. So let’s get to know someone in the middle of this, as time is short and many stories will soon be lost. That person is Elena Marlowe, whose part in this is initially minimal..but important enough to keep my interest at least.
The character of Elena Marlowe is an interesting one, a mother willing to do what it takes to stay with her family , including breaking the law. We get hints toward her past, as she may have engaged in something bad enough to deny her passage into the big escape ship. We get the feeling she just wants a normal life, even if that means moving to a new world with her family as the old world burns. Those around her seem to have some their part to play, in their plans to accept what will happen. This is a strong development, as the most tragic details of this situation have yet to come.
Meanwhile the world has gone mad, and rightfully so. The economy stops, and government preparations are in process. For many, there are the suicide pills and doomsday cults to take heart in. For others, they may take part in the global anarchy, smashing and destroying whatever is left in frustration and anger . I think to myself in reading..is this realistic to how we face an extinction event with some chosen to survive it all? The writing in this book is one vision, which seems believable the more you think of it. The lucky few, get to escape. That premise is never explored enough in science fiction, and feels fresh with each new tale of this scenario.
Then, we have an interesting twist for Elena and the world she is forced to live in now. Everything seems reversed, and left behind to what is really “broken.” The last page leads me to think, now what? I feel I should know, as the bigger story is ahead..
So, the first issue is merely a set-up. Elena is caught in a sort of trap, unable to escape the doomed world. Fate leads to a sort of ironic twist, the old world and her past pulls her down, as her passport remains denied. Sinister cult forces sabotage the situation, while protests turn violent. We make it to the end, which is not, leading to new questions.
My favorite question is often asked, what’s next?
The art is good and kept simple. The character looks are believable in their part to this fantastic situation, with the look of a slightly futuristic society that’s not at all far-fetched. I like the choice of coloring throughout Broken World. The changing tones seem to builds upon the atmosphere, as the dark colorful tones sets up the tense moments of action. The lighter establish conversation and build-up.
My only problem is the somewhat confusing sequence of the elevator explosion. What about the ship, carrying her child and husband? Were the actions of the fanatical “Children of the Revelation” necessary? Or, was there something more at work there? My best hopes is that there leads to a better explanation in the next issue. With good faith in this writing, I think will happen.
Overall, this series is a nice set-up for things to come. The world is forever changed, and perhaps in chaos. Many questions will follow about what will happen, and what did happen (was this miscalculation intentional is my biggest question). We have many unanswered questions, with more possibilities of a large interesting picture to what happens to this Broken World. Can it be fixed? And where does Elena fit into this puzzle?
I hope for a continued good story, with the same pacing in future issues of Broken World. I look forward in finding out.
– Orion T