Writers: FJ DeSanto & Todd Farmer
Artist: Federico Dallocchio
Reviewer: Rob Patey (aka Optimous Douche, Ain’t It Cool news)
I’m a big fan of these new books that are “not quite Vertigo” and “definitely not New 52.” Following on the spectacular success of the first hybrid entry, LOT 13, INSURGENT hits the shelves with a cool twist on tomorrow and some spectacular art from a group of guys I haven’t heard of yet, but expect to hear much more from in the future.
While INSURGENT borrows from a few Sci-Fi tropes, it reinvents them all imaginatively and thanks to Dallocchio’s art, excitingly moving. INSURGENTS are the new name for Borg, but unlike their robotic predecessors, INSURGENTS 1.0 look more like 7 of Nine than say Decker from Blade Runner. That’s right INSURGENT 1.0, the 2.0’s don’t happen for twenty years later.
2018, America is in the pits. We didn’t pull out from our current political abyss and the country stands on the brink of implosion. A corrupt President creates the INSURGENTS to thwart domestic threats, unfortunately thanks to some lose wiring and the excruciating pain of cybernetics grafted to skin the INSURGENTS go rogue and become the threats. Enter John Ravane, rogue INSURGENT hunter and man thoroughly fed up with the system. Ravane gets his mark and then we flash forward to a very special news montage.
This was really the only time the book slowed down and unfortunately it’s necessary with only six issues to play with. Were this an ongoing the team could have devoted a few issues to what happened over the next twenty years. It’s a shame because these were an imaginative two pages as we see the President of the US assassinated for creating the INSURGENTS 1.o, watching the nation tear asunder into Red and Blue state governments from this final straw of political incompetence and control, and finally a new gleaming tomorrow under the guidance of President Chong. Chong stretches the budget line item for Science and the USA becomes the nanotech exporter to the world.
The rest of the book seemed to move by in seconds from this part as we meet a sleeper INSURGENT 2.0, who had no idea she was part robot, and finds out in a baptism of blood; we learn Chong isn’t as immaculate as he first seems and a terrorist organization is activating INSURGENTS to execute an attack on the US. We also get to see Ravane come back into action to hunt these new sleeper INSURGENTS down before they cause more bloodshed. And we find out he’s been raising the daughter of one his past hits for the past twenty years. The government holds this and the daughter’s lack of knowledge she’s not Ravane’s kid as a bargaining chip to keep a tight collar before Ravane goes back into action.
I applaud DeSanto and Farmer for not stretching the boundaries of everyday technology in tomorrow land. Everything seemed appropriately futery for twenty-six years from today. We won’t have replicators, but hologram communication – seems plausible since we can already send Hologram signals via our ancient intertubes. Likewise Dallocchop does a great job with future fashion and hairstyles. This really is a pretty book, this is very similar to the art on I, VAMPIRE in its dreaminess, but everything is much much brighter in INSURGENTS.
It’s a smart move on DC’s part to enter the high-concept, continuity free, miniseries realm. Other publishers of much more modest means that rhyme with Shwimage produced a deluge of new material in 2012, enticing some pretty prominent names to peddle their own ideas instead of churning brain gold out for “the man.”
INSURGENT shows DC’s commitment to comics beyond the cash cows whose logos bring in millions. Now, please do this more. I warn you now though guys, if Ravane is really Decker from Blade Runner (you know what I mean – unicorn dreams), you will feel my wrath.