I wracked my brain for a way to discuss Boom Studios’ Broken World without giving away any of the reveals which occur early in the series. Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage to wrap my brain around it, so we’ll just put this here —
Warning: Ahead There May Be Spoilers
We’ve all been inundated with a lot of post-apocalyptic material lately. Everything from zombies to war to disease have ravaged the landscapes of dystopian America/dystopian Australia/dystopian geographies filling in for America. Broken World utilizes the interesting premise of showing people who are prepared for the worst — in this case an extinction level meeting between the Earth and an asteroid.
Yep, Bruce Willis and Ben Afleck aren’t going to save us this time.
Fortunately, the government has created a series of space arks capable of transporting a huge portion of the population to safety. Unfortunately, not everyone is selected. Some people are going to be left behind.
We start out with Marlowe, our main character, and her family approaching one of the last ships slated to leave a mere three hours before the impact is to occur. The story then jumps back a few days to reveal Marlowe speaking with a forger, trying to acquire documents which will allow her to board the rescue rockets.
Talk about your instant tension.
Writer Frank J. Barbiere uses this moving through time exceptionally well throughout the graphic novel. Flashes of backstory which could have been clunky in other hands are seamless, accenting the action happening “real time” rather than distracting from it. We get glimpses of people before the catastrophe is scheduled to happen which explain their actions after the last rescue ship leaves and they are left stranded.
As the story progresses, we have the personal struggles as the individual characters seek to survive set against the larger backdrop of a fight for supremacy between the remnants of the military and a religious organization known as The Children of the Revelation. Marlowe is coerced into interacting with both groups in a plot which will keep the readers turning the pages.
Christopher Peterson’s straight forward artwork and Marissa Louise’s coloring encapsulate the world perfectly. There are numerous twists, many which catch the reader totally off guard, but are perfectly logical. Don’t be afraid to enter the Broken World. You’ll definitely enjoy your visit.