I did not realize when I volunteered to review this title that the writer, Matt Kindt, was also the writer of Folklords, a comic I reviewed a few years ago. In fact, I didn’t realize it until about halfway through reading, when our heroes encounter a copy of Folklords in a stack of books that includes a number of Kindt’s other titles.
The two stories share a similar theme: They both feature a protagonist who straddles the line between two completely different worlds. At least one other of Kindt’s titles, Revolver, takes on that theme, as well – though the three stories tackle it in three very different ways.
In Subgenre, our hero is Verge, a hard-boiled private eye in a cyberpunk future world. With the help of his AI virtual assistant, he does unsavory work for clients like Decipher Cosmics, a giant media conglomerate that produces pretty much everything anybody reads, watches, or listens to. While investigating his latest case for Decipher, Verge is attacked by the blue-skinned members of a religious cult with a penchant for rare books and crosses paths with a mysterious woman who’s suspicious of technology and has a bone to pick with his client.
Then suddenly, just as things are coming to a head—everything changes. Verge is now Vee, a warrior in a medieval fantasy world. His virtual assistant is now a sprite whose help involves magic, rather than computers. The world is completely different, but with striking parallels. Which world is real? The world of Verge, or the world of Vee? Maybe neither. Maybe both.
Of course, it’s only the first issue, so we can’t expect the answers to such questions quite yet. It’s very entertaining so far in both worlds, and the worldbuilding has got me hooked. I can’t wait to see what happens next. If you’re a fan of reality-bending sci-fi and fantasy stories that keep you off-balance just enough, then Subgenre is right up your alley.
Creative Team: Matt Kindt (writer, cover A artist), Wilfredo Torres (artist), Bill Crabtree (colorist), Jim Campbell (letterer), Brian Hurt (cover B artist)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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