Written by: Brendan Hykes
Artist: MJ Barros
Lettering: Sean Rinehart
Publisher: Zero Press
Review by Gregory Brothers
If you are like me and live within the United States you more than likely find yourself in complete awe as to what a mess the current election cycle has turned into. The constant name calling, finger pointing, and personal attacks have been enough to turn even the most seasoned political junkie away from the whole process. Maybe you find yourself wondering if instead of verbal sparing suddenly the election was decided by a battle of fists. If that’s the case you are in luck because in Campaigners, Bredan Hykes transports us sixty years into the future where elections are no longer decided who can get the most votes but instead who come out on top in a physical fight between the top candidates.
If you have been a reader of Rogues Portal you might know that I reviewed issue 1 and 2 of the Campaigners back in June. The good news is if you followed that recommendation and picked up the series then issue #3 starts right where issue #2 ended. Kydra and Bianca have made their way to Washington D.C. to attend the rally that has been inspired by Kydra’s now viral video. The rally, which has caught the attention of the government, is much larger than Kydra had expected it to be and definitely larger than Bianca had let on to it being. Meanwhile the election cycle has moved into its final phase as the battle to be the new president has begun and it seems a winner may have been found.
Throughout Campaigners #3 we get to see every single one of the characters grow in some way but not is a way that feels rushed. The changes while subtle feel as if it is the way that people would change in everyday life. We see Kydra start to come into her role as the unintended face of the protest moment, while also questioning if she is doing the right thing when the protest does not go as planned. To many times in comics we see someone just accept their new roles and it is nice to see it portrayed where someone who had worked so hard to avoid the spotlight not feel totally comfortable in her new role as the face of a movement. The subtle change in the President is also obvious through this issue. As a man who is getting ready to leave office the it has become a time of reflection for the President and just like any of us there are things that he may have regrets about, and Hykes writings let you know that major change could be on the horizon.
The change in the attitude and the feelings are also portrayed in Barros’ art. Subtle body language and poses give you the sense of what the true feeling of the President while his words may say something else. It is these subtle changes that I think lay the clues as to what the future holds. I have said before that usually I am not a fan of black and white comics. I find that I get lost and the characters tend to meld together. I never ran into that problem in this comic. Barros does a great job making each character stand out on their own and not having to use labeling and arrows to point out the action and where to go next. The details pop in a way that I have not seen from a black and white comic in a long time. Details such as the Presidents injured eye or Kydra flush face from the train ride stand out and give these characters so much more depth. The fight scene, while brief, is drawn in such as way to remind you the brutality of these fights without being over the top in showing the violence.
Buy! Campaigners #3 sets up the second half of the story perfectly. With two issues left all the major players are starting to move into place for what seems like it should be a very entertaining conclusion to this 5 part series. The character development throughout gives you an even better sense of the inner turmoil that all of the major players are dealing with and makes you care about what happens to them next. If you have not read the first two issues yet make sure you grab those and enjoy the series as it continues to entertain and make you think about our own political future. Campaigners #3 is available now from the Zero Press website and will be on Comixology soon.