"Invisible Republic" Vol 1 from Image Comics -
It is the year 2843. Humans have begun to spread outwards into space. Though there are parts of our society that have advanced considerably, there are some parts that never seem to change. Many years ago, before the recent advancements of FTL travel, generation ships found a new star system and colonized a world teeming with life called Asan. Later, its barren moon, once called Maidstone, now named Avalon, was also colonized. Avalon has descended into chaos - the governing power, the Mallory Regime, has fallen. Disgraced reporter, Croger Babb, hoping to redeem himself, and make some money, journeys to Avalon to find out how and why the Mallory Regime fell. When Babb happens upon an old journal written by Maia Reveron, the unknown cousin of the regime's founder, Arthur McBride, he stumbles into the origin of the man behind behind the revolution that birthed a regime, an origin that no one knows...an origin that some would kill in order to keep hidden. As Babb delves deeper into the past of McBride, deeper into the story of an indentured slave turned revolutionary, turned dictator, he learns about the stark reality of what it means to live on this harsh, unforgiving moon. This story could put Babb back on top...If he lives to write it.
Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko write this captivating throwback to classic science-fiction. This is absolutely perfect world-building and and character development - it is easy to see that Hardman and Bechko live in the world that they created right alongside each character that they write. "Invisible Republic" is an intricate work of imagination - an imagined future of scientific advances; yet, a future where man has remained very human with his wondrous ability to adapt, and his awful ability to oppress and marginalize. Hardman and Bechko have tapped into the essence of what makes great since-fiction stories great: at the heart of it, no matter where or when the story unfolds, "Invisible Republic" is a very human story - a story of humanity at its best and worst. Each character is fully realized with motivations, fears, strengths and flaws - each voice is absolutely distinct. Also, Hardman moves the intricate story along at a beautiful clip with his equally intricate pencils which are bolstered by Jordan Boyd's brilliantly joyless colors that speak to the reader of the bleakness of this future world. If all this weren't enough, Bechko gives us two essays written by her hand on bees, and the problems and politics of the theoretical generation ship. WOW.
When I pick up a sci-fi comic and hear echoes of Asimov and Heinlein, my heart just beats so much faster. It's no wonder that this series was nominated this year for the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story.
RATING: 10 out of 10. I can't wait to buy the next volume.
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