‘The Agenda #1:’ Comic Book Review (Gay, Straight, with Funny Hairdos, We're All Just People)

After the Plague of 2020, society changed. Advancements in genetic engineering made it possible for gay and lesbian couples to conceive children, and, slowly, straight folks or “breeders” became abnormal, being thought of as perverse. Over a century since the plague, Gavin Preston just wants to be at his pregnant husband Richard's side, but when he's swept up in the straight cause and accused of being a terrorist, the only way to clear his name is to help change society's way of thinking.

Obviously, The Agenda is playing with some political themes. In my opinion this first issue handles the subject matter with mixed results. Flipping the positions of the LG community and the straight community is always a great tool to show the other side's position, but the fascism angle of the LG government is extreme and much less representative of modern attitudes, even if there is a historical significance to it. Writer P.K. Eiselt isn't shying away from showing gay characters in every possible light: good, evil, oblivious, reluctant, and more. My favorite part of this issue is the relationship between Gavin and Richard. They have a great dynamic with one another, and their relationship is able to walk the fine line on the subject of gender roles, even with one of the men as the one actually carrying the baby. It's worth adding that The Agenda goes out of its way to promote different, but still valid, lifestyles. Of note, the different ways open relationships can work. I fear that some readers will make an assumption about gay relationships and not take away the positive portrayal, but when taking on LGBT issues, every decision this comic makes is a balancing act.

The lettering in The Agenda is solid; however, the placement in this first issue was a little off. On several occasions I found myself reading word bubbles out of order due to the way characters and their dialogue were positioned. Silvana Inks' style is manga inspired and gorgeous. The depiction of a future city has a lot of little touches, both familiar—such as Richard's bunny slippers—and not—like the camera drones floating all above the city—that bring the setting to life. The future tech Eiselt and Inks have created is imaginative and fresh, dodging the staples of science fiction. I also can't help but wonder if later issues are going to touch on more of the Gattaca-style genetic engineering themes and the problems that can arise when you can build every aspect of your child. Like the tech, fashions likewise range from modern-day styles to more creative designs, more in the vein of The Hunger Games' Capitol, but every article of clothing or gadget defines the characters well. Although, for the large part, this comic focuses on serious themes with situational humor, the art style isn't the only thing manga inspired. I'm going to leave it at that so as to not spoil anything, but I was greatly amused by the change-up and would love to see how later issues make use of the manga elements.

The Agenda can be read and purchased over at Minus Zero Production's website, www.minuszeroprod.com, along with other great comics.


Four Glider-Suits Out of Five

Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2018 22:42

Kristine Chester, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Comic Book SeriesAtomic Robo
Favorite D&D Class:  Wizard
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:  Cookies N' Cream

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