It is the future. America was hit by five atomic bombs spread across five major cities. The resulting death and destruction left the nation split into a handful of smaller countries. Among them is the New California. It is the strongest and most well-guarded of the new nations carved out of the United States. One of the most beloved choices of entertainment in New California is “The Guardians,” a live televised program that follows the Guardians, the top cops of New California, as they track down suspects. The public votes whether each suspect lives or dies. Among the most popular of these Guardians is Stella Maris, the President Herod’s granddaughter.
There is also Kirby Shakaku Miyazaki, a straightedge hacker who just wants to see this authoritarian establishment crumble.
The New World #1 is like a stew of various sci-fi films and comics about dystopian authoritarian futures. It’s a little Judge Dredd, a little Running Man, a little Robocop, and even shares some premise ideas with Ales Kot’s own Days of Hate.
Oh, it also shares ideas with Live PD, which is a televised show watching police officers as they arrest people with actual commentators, but that’s something that actually exists and is televised now. Whoops, America’s accidentally done a Running Man.
In any case, New World #1 is a lively and fun read, despite the commentary being depressingly relevant and seemingly bearing down on our present. Stella and Kirby are both likable characters with interesting motives, even if Kirby is a bit of a buzzkill being so straightedge and all.
The comic is possibly a little longer than it needs to be. It’s an extra-sized piece that is loaded with lengthy dialogue exchanges. Longer isn’t inherently better, and this one could have likely been shaved down a bit without losing much.
That said, the story more than gets by on personality, energy, and sharp commentary.
Tradd Moore may have been the perfect artist choice to bring this to life. His cartoonish and somewhat caricature-inspired style gives the visuals a lot of energy while pairing well with the focus upon artificiality and media viability of this new world. Plus, the visual design is excellent; the armor of the Guardians is an appealing mixture of samurai armor and Stormtrooper armor from Star Wars. Heather Moore compliments it all with a bright and heavily contrasting palette that focuses upon primary colors and strong shades.
The New World #1 is an interesting social commentary populated by compelling characters and a premise that is almost perfect for the comic medium. Tradd and Heather Moore bring some great artwork to this project too. Check this one out. I recommend it.
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