In the months that have come since the release of Van Jensen and Pete Woods’ Cryptocracy, one of the stranger books I’ve ever read has continued to get stranger and stranger. With the Nine’s existence revealed and their influence on the world realized, the lives of both those who live outside the sphere of influence of the nine families and those who live within their ranks are at risk. This issues takes the Mars family to the Preserve, where the threats of Hum and the impending arrival of the mysterious Chronos have driven the families to war and divided the beings of the many factions that exist in this world. The reveal of their doings has also been falling on Bela, the host of a fringe conspiracy show that helped shine the light on the Cryptocracy. It’s all leading to some massive shifts for Mars’ Grahame and the entire tribe.
This series has been up and down for me, mostly because I still can’t pin down where it’s going. While this is absolutely a good thing, it also makes for a tough read at some points. While it hopefully continues in this interesting direction, I also hope things become a bit clearer in the future. With so many new creatures and an ever-expanding world, it’s a bit much to keep track of sometimes.
This creative team is symbiotic, though. The art and writing are tight, stellar, and gorgeous. The art is especially great in this issue, with some of the more interesting creatures that have been put on display given incredible life in these pages. It looks weird, feels weird, and reads weird, all in ways that I’ve yet to see in comics, and in ways that are really, really beautiful.
This is an odd series, but I like it quite a bit. As it continues, I hope it takes on a bit more clarity, but it’s been a fun trip so far.