COMIC REVIEW: Debris #1

Welcome to the world of debris, a new series from Image Comics. A new series and a new world with all new characters. With any new comic, the writers and artists need a hook. Something to drag you in and make you want to keep reading. The first thing I would say about debris is Rossmo’s almost cinematic art. For me, it is the hook. Cinematic is possibly the wrong word, but the art wants me to keep looking, but does the story make me want to keep reading?

We join Maya apparently scouting a landscape with a colleague, who turns out to be her mentor. They appear to be in a ruined city. She’s concerned about something called avios. We’re quickly introduced to what seem to be avian-like machines. Then something larger, more terrible arrives, a jormungand, and a battle ensues. It transpires that their village is under constant threat from these mechanical marauders.  We don’t learn much about them, or the world we find ourselves in. It is a post-apocalyptic landscape, but is this our future or another planet? The village has a device for drawing water and a council of elders. There are hints at mysticism or magic as well. However, when the jormungand destroys the water device and kills Maya’s mentor, the adventure really begins.

The environment is recognizable for science fiction fans, and the creatures vaguely familiar. The avios reminded me of velociraptors and the larger jormungand brings forth memories of the worms on Dune. The artwork by Rossmo, however, is stunning and in my opinion, innovative. I can only describe it as a cross between graffiti and cinema; rough yet grand. There are huge panels and in some cases full pages of cinematic scenes, complete with out-of-focus foregrounds and wide-screen action shots. Panels often find themselves within a larger scene. The use of space and colour is also a welcome and familiar trait for those familiar with Rossmo’s previous efforts. Unfortunately, our heroine, Maya, is drawn as a super-heroine cliché. She’s meant to be a warrior. I would have preferred her to look more rugged, less ‘comic book perfect’. Most of the story is told with visuals as opposed to dialogue, which works well in context.

The dialogue, however, is fairy formulaic and the narrative is nothing new. I’m hoping that as Maya continues her adventures, we see her grow into a great character. There are hints at inner strength and courage. Let’s see them develop. She has potential to become something memorable. I’m not familiar with Wiebe’s previous work, which includes 2009’s Beautiful Creature’s and the acclaimed Green Wake from last year (with Rossmo). There is solid work from Wiebe here, if not as spectacular as the art deserves. I did really enjoy debris and think its worthy of any comic fan. There is enough in the story and character of Maya, despite slight reservations, to keep me interested, hooked, and looking forward to issue 2.

Reporter: Ian J Simpson

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