So, let me tell you about the ultimate gated community. As the world’s economy was falling apart, the massive corporation Excorp bought a vast area of land in the middle of America. There they established Blackacre, a massive, walled city with a standing army and waited out the collapse of the rest of the world. After decades of prosperity, the contrast between the lawless wilds that you already can picture outside and the Randian elite that run the city are stark.
The story follows one soldier as he embarks on a mission outside the wall.
The story seems like it will build to a pretty straightforward Heart of Darkness, albeit with some fun, little twists. So far, our hero, Captain Hull, seems like a standard, loyal soldier. There are, of course, some signs that he thinks about more than he lets on and is not quite sold on the utopia line. The character starts off as the standard protagonist in a dystopian soldier story. This isn’t a bad thing exactly. This comic book feels like a show on USA. It is hitting the beats you expect, and the characters are all filling the required roles, but there is a little twist that helps define the story. In this case, it seems to be the nature of the apocalypse. By making the catalyst the economic collapse without any of the standard destruction, what we seem to have is a relatively tame end of the world.
I wasn’t ever really surprised by the plot, characters, or setting. Everything was familiar. The thing is, sometimes it is more impressive when a straightforward procedural is good. The worst thing that I can say about this comic is that it appears to be hitting the right story beats, because that is what will sell books. Honestly, while I don’t really watch any of the procedural USA shows, they are almost universally entertaining. There is nothing wrong with telling a good story, even if there are elements that crib from the greats. The real measure of this kind of comic book is not whether it is groundbreaking, but whether it is fun. The good news is that this comic is fun.
Three and a Half Reactionary Walled Cities out of Five.