Created by B. Robert Bell, who also did the art, and co-written by Robert Jeffrey II, whose work I’ve reviewed previously in ROUTE 3 #1 and PLATYPUS VS. MONKEY #1, this is a dystopian near-future political action thriller from Terminus Media. The preview blurb describes it as “Red Dawn meets The Wire”, which is pretty accurate. This issue is Chapter One: D.O.A. (Death of America).
Set in 2020, after the American government was overthrown and occupied by Russia, China, & Saudi Arabia, we follow a young Black man named Moses, who lives in a crowed American refugee camp in Canada. It’s quickly made clear that just surviving on a day to day basis is not easy for this American expatriates, but they’re working as part of an underground resistance movement to take back America. As “D.J. Mose B”, Moses broadcasts pro-American propaganda, along with a healthy dose of classic hip-hop music, on pirate radio, while his group plots their next move. It’s an interesting concept, as the story attempts to reconnect to rap music early revolutionary roots, showing how it can inspire people to “fight the power”, so to speak.
Then in a series of flashbacks we discover how World War III began. Previously Moses was a drug-dealer and part-time DJ in South Philadelphia. Then one day a nationwide EMP blast knocked out all electrical power (hello, Revolution). After 3 days, Philly erupted into riots. Then the nuclear bombs started dropping in the major cities, including Washington D.C. (bye bye, White House) and when the Russian troops start rolling into town on tanks, we see average Americans, from cops to gangbangers fighting back, and then trying to help each other get to safety, hence the beginning of the great migration to Canada. It ends there with a cliffhanger, there’s still more history to be revealed, but I was instantly hooked by what I’d read so far. This thing is almost too big for a comic-book, it felt like I was reading a movie script, I could see it all in my head. What impressed me most while reading the stories of the chaos, was how real it felt. Bell (who’s artwork is also wonderful to look at – aided by inker Don Hillsman II and colorist Lexington Wolfcraft) and Jeffrey definitely have a hit on their hands. I can’t wait for the next issue!
I grade this book: