Young Ter­ror­ists

Comic Heroes - - Comics We Rate - James Love­grove

Re­viewed: Is­sue 1 Writer: Matt Piz­zolo Artist: Aman­cay Nahuel­pan Pub­lisher: Black Mask For­mat: On­go­ing

The much-hyped new se­ries from young up­start pub­lisher Black Mask lives up to its edgy rep­u­ta­tion. Young Ter­ror­ists sets out its stall as a provoca­tive comic right from the out­set. The cover shows a dread­locked girl with dy­na­mite strapped to her body, about to light the fuse with a Zippo. In the open­ing pages, a baby is kid­napped at gun­point. Fif­teen years later, a bil­lion­aire, Gre­gor Solomon, is blown up in a cof­fee bar with a brief­case bomb. His daugh­ter Sera is ar­rested on ter­ror­ism charges and sent to a black-ops mil­i­tary prison in the desert where she is tor­tured and forced to fight other de­tainees in bru­tal death matches, un­til she es­capes.

Then we meet a young an­i­mal rights ac­tivist on the run, who comes to be known as Ce­sar. He’s beaten up by truck­ers, ar­rested by the po­lice, and res­cued by an enig­matic man in a hoodie.

Ce­sar’s and Sera’s sto­ry­lines in­ter­sect in Detroit as she re­cruits him to her cause: no less than the over­throw of the “transna­tional mega-elites”, cor­rupt ar­chi­tects of the New World Or­der, amongst whose num­ber her fa­ther was counted. Well, you can’t blame her.

This 80-page de­but is­sue, de­scribed by the back-cover blurb as a “graphic novella”, reads very much as though it is three nor­mal-sized is­sues pack­aged as one, and it forms an ex­cel­lent in­tro­duc­tion to what looks like be­com­ing an ace new on­go­ing se­ries.

There are shades of DMZ in Matt Piz­zolo’s script, par­tic­u­larly Sera’s sovereign­state-within-a-city that pro­vides a self-suf­fi­cient refuge for peo­ple who want to get off the grid and smash the sys­tem, while Aman­cay Nahuel­pan’s roughedged art­work oozes an­ar­chism, adren­a­line and para­noia like blood from a knife wound.

It’s a sci-fi po­lit­i­cal thriller with at­ti­tude.

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