COMIC REVIEW: Exit Generation #1

xgenad Exit Generation sees 95% of the worlds population leaving earth for pastures new, which is bad news for the 5% left behind…or so you’d think. This book is a great read from start to finish and it’s one of the strongest débuts we’ve read in a while. It also has a great tag line in ‘Big Guns! Space Aliens! Punk Rock!’ We’re sold.

It’s 2055 and Jack is bored.

20 years ago most of Earth’s population abandoned the planet in search of a less crowded place to live.  But rather than descend into chaos, the world they left became a paradise, free from poverty, war and crime.

In this utopia Jack spends his days hanging out with his friend Mo, and obsessing over action movies and punk records, longing for some real excitement.  But then a bunch of extra-terrestrial visitors arrive, and Jack’s wish is granted…

This is a brilliant opener. It turns the idea of the desolate apocalypse on its head. We’re shown that the 5% who get left behind end up flourishing in a material paradise. Best of all, because everyone has plenty of space, no more wars!

Money doesn’t exist, because there is no need for it. We’re not sure about the practicalities of it all like growing food and making medicine etcetera but everyone seems content and happy…well most people.

Sam Read has given us a well written, solid opening. The characters are diverse and relatable, the story is an interesting take on an almost apocalypse and it’s full of humour despite the tragic undertone.

It actually has a very heart-breaking beginning, a beacon of hope is dashed on a mechanical fault to a devastating degree and then those left behind, despite being set in a paradise where no one seems to want for anything,  face yet another threat to their existence.

Jack, our 20 year old hero, is faced with losing his family twice in this first issue. That sounds pretty devastating, but he isn’t your stereotypical angry, closed off orphan. He likes punk rock, action films, loves AND appreciates his adopted family, so the worst thing about him seems to be his rose tinted view of past earth being less ‘boring’.

The book actually raises a good point about how oddly idealistic action movies are. Jack longs for explosions and excitement, the chance to be the unstoppable hero, like he sees on screen, but in reality being subjected to that level of violence is soul destroying and most ordinary people are not bullet proof!

His friend and pseudo adopted brother Mo is a good foil for Jack. He is more conscientious when it comes to social issues and the struggles his family has had in the past. He is also part of a religious and accepting family. His response to Jack criticising this time for being boring is a believable and sympathetic reaction, he is the voice of reason and a reminder that the past really wasn’t in reality all that great.

By the end of the issue we get the impression that Jack is going to get his chance to be a real life hero thanks to some funny, yet utterly awful villains who turn up and throw a spanner in the works. Is Jack going to go all Sly Stallone on us and run in to save the world guns blazing?

The story ends on a hopeful yet uncertain note, which makes us eager to read the next issue to see what Mo and Jack do next.

Artist Caio Olivera has a really distinctive style, it’s very expressive and rough, and his artwork perfectly complements the story. The high quality of his art is also consistent throughout the book, whether on character close ups or on a grander scale with detailed backgrounds. It reminds me of the work by Chris Moonyham (Five Ghosts: The Haunting of Fabian Gray), you know the mood of each scene down to the expressions and physicality of the characters.

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The colour pallet is a mix of warm earthy colours, lots of green, orange and yellow. It’s very autumnal and quite cozy looking, which makes the arrival of the nasty aliens a good contrast with their more garish greens. The colours really enhance Olivera’s artwork, Ruth Redmond has done an excellent job on them.

On the rest of the team we have funny man Colin Bell (writer of Dungeon Fun) doing the lettering, Adam P. Knave did a great job editing the book and Ramon Villanos doing a corker of a cover. It echoes all those 90’s action film VHS covers, the hero standing defiant with a killer tagline in bold above his head.

We really did enjoy this first issue, we strongly recommend it if you like your sci-fi with humour, evil aliens and plucky heroes.

This is going to be a story told in four parts and you can purchase a copy of Exit Generation #1 from here at £3 for a hardcopy or just £1 for the digital issue. Go support a great independent comic, they deserve the chance to finish telling this story.

Title: Exit Generation #1

Publisher: Read French Comics

Rating:5 /5

Reviewer: Sara Westrop

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