Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blackacre #1

Written by Duffy Boudreau
Art by Wendell Cavalcanti and Sergio Abad

Having no familiarity with any of the names involved in Blackacre, a new Image series, I didn't add the book to my pull-list.  I'm fortunate to shop at a store that orders deeply on new, unproven independent titles (it's not luck, seeing as I live in a city with a lot of comics stores to choose from), so after flipping through this on the stands, I figured it looked good enough to buy.

The series opens with a university lecture being delivered in the year 2202 which outlines the root causes of America's Dark Age, which is nicely summed up as being the conflict between zombies and pirates.  According to writer Duffy Boudreau's understanding of our current culture, the majority of Americans have fallen victim to the zombie meme, clutching themselves in the dark, waiting for everything to fall apart in one sweeping catastrophe.  The rich, however, have been taking their cue from the growth of pirate activity on the open seas, and have decided to simply take what they feel they are owed from the world.

This has led to the existence of Blackacre, a gigantic gated community for the super-rich and powerful. They've stayed comfortably behind the walls while the rest of the country went to hell.

The rest of this book is set in 2114, and it tosses a lot at us.  We learn that there is a class of young people raised in Blackacre as soldiers and guards.  We watch one of them graduate from his service along the wall and get recruited for a special meeting outside the gates, a place that very few people go (at least so far as the rest of Blackacre is aware).

We also get the sense that the outside is a pretty messed up place.  We meet a family that is in hiding.  They are attacked by one group of men, who kill the father, and are then attacked by a second group.  The issue then ends with the lesson that rich men in large towers can't always be trusted, but I feel like we should have already known that.

Blackacre is a well-thought out and nicely told comic.  Boudreau has put a lot of thought into how this is going to play out, and has created an interesting, if familiar, world.  Cavalcanti's art is clear and serviceable.  I'm probably going to check out the next issue.

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