Written by: Brendan Hykes
Artist: MJ Barros
Lettering: Sean Rinehart
Publisher: Zero Press
Review by Gregory Brothers
Politics has always had a stranger than fiction element to it. Adultery, murder, backstabbing, and lying have all been the basis of a political scandals at some point. So when Brendan Hykes creates a world based in 2076 that replaces political debates with political death matches it does not seem totally off.
As is many times the case in real life the catalyst for change in the status quo comes from young people, even if they do not always realize the impact that their action Is going to have. Kydra Franks has been picked by a local news station to be interviewed about voting since she turns 18 on election day. The reporter arrives expecting to film a fluff piece about the election and what she gets instead is Kydra, who is already in a foul mood over her transgendered friend being bullied earlier in the day.
Kydra lets loose on live television about the state of the country and everything she does not like about it, including the death matches, and corporate greed. The interview of course goes viral and within the day everyone is talking about the interview and more specifically Kydra. For her part Kydra doesn’t understand all the hype around what she said in the beginning, but by the end of the second issue, she is ready to embrace he new found fame and use it to fight for change. We also get glimpses of the current President throughout the two issues and he gets ready to step away from public office. In interviews he thinks back to his times in the death matches and begins to grow frustrated with his lack of power as the sitting President.
The art throughout the book is really well done. Sometimes with black and white comics it is hard to be able to tell the difference between some of the characters, and that is not the case here at all. The characters all have distinct looks that make it easy to tell them apart. The panels are detailed but not overly cluttered. You can easily follow the actions and flow of the conversations throughout. The characters actions in wordless panels are easy to understand and move the story forward without bogging it down with endless chunks of dialogue.
Buy! Is this comic perfect? No. But if you have ever found yourself frustrated with the state of current day politics then this is a comic that may speak to you. It takes political fighting to the extreme to show how far things could go, but is not done in a preachy way. In just these first two issues you see the natural growth of Kydra as she goes from unknowingly starting a political debate, to helping to lead the revolution. The comic is available through the Zero Press website or through ComiXology.