The Big Twist of Broken World
The serial nature of comic books can make it the perfect medium for cliffhangers and twist endings. Well, you can add another title to the list of great twist endings: Boom’s Broken World by Frank Barbiere, Christopher Peterson and Marissa Louise.
Broken World starts out with a typical end-of-the-world scenario. Earth is about to be destroyed, not unlike Superman’s home of Krypton. The human race is evacuating. However, starship seats are limited and hard to come by. The best and the brightest were selected to find a new home.
Elena Marlowe is a college professor. She plows ahead with her class even though most of her students are gone- either because they’re leaving for space or because school doesn’t really matter anymore if the world is going to end. Elena’s family has passes to leave Earth but, when they prepare to board their spaceship, Elena is pulled out of line. Her passport is a forgery. Elena is not the mild-mannered unassuming college professor we’ve met so far. She has a secret past and she’s denied passage.
That’s when the big twists start coming. Elena watches helplessly as anarchists blow up the elevator that brings passengers up to the spaceship. She doesn’t know if her family escaped Earth, or if they’re even alive. But that’s just a minor tremor compared to the earthquake a few pages later: the asteroid misses Earth.
The human race evacuated for nothing. The people handpicked to survive are gone. The dregs of society have been left behind. The end of the world is only the beginning and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Who is Elena? What is her secret past that led to her being denied passage? What will the survivors do in this society of the abandoned? Will we see the evacuees again?
Broken World is an emotionally resonant and engaging story. We feel the scenes along with Elena, her love for her family, her desperation, her despair and finally her resolve. Christopher Peterson provides clear and compelling art. His first cover shows a bit of a Frank Quitely influence, but the interior art is a lot crisper and simpler, more like Jeff Smith's Bone.
Broken World is a completely different take on the end of the world scenario. Barbiere and company are exploring the edges of the story that are usually ignored. I enjoyed their storytelling before the big twist but the big twist was truly astonishing. I can only hope that the rest of the series lives up to this early promise.
It's a Fluit Notes double-header. Enjoy!
That's a bit like the origin of Wundarr from Man-Thing. His father rockets him to Earth to save him and he grows up in the rocket and comes out simple-minded because the Kents drove off afraid they'd get ray gunned, and it turned out his planet wasn't going to blow up after all.
Thanks for the heads up -- that does sound interesting, and I'm curious about the professor's past.