20XX #1 (Review) Mind Over Gray Matter
***1st Issue Spoilers***
This book blew my socks off! It took the entire book to do it, but it did. Do not flip to the end of the book either. Read this one from cover to cover and I think you’ll end up being impressed like I was. First off I’ll let you know that it’s a black and white comic. With that being said, please don’t let that turn you off because the premise of this story is worth a read for sure. The major difference between a color comic vs black and white is the latter needs to have a really good story to make up for what it lacks visually. This book does hit the mark, however.
I found this story intriguing and compelling so much so that I’m already looking forward to the next issue. This is not only a good origin issue but a decent setup for the world of the future this is set in. Like in many first issues that come across my desk, it starts with a short, shocking scene that’s in the now. The rest of the issue (until the last couple of pages) is a flashback, of course, so we can see how we got here. The journey to get there is sad in the fact that this protagonist, Meria, gets her entire life ripped away from her. So we can take from the title at least that this takes place between now and anytime in the next nearly 80 years. The place is Anchorage, Alaska from the first page, then we meet Meria and her rather large cat. It seems like everyone there is chipped since their cellphone calls happen inside their heads and are voice-activated. Now, this did slightly remind me of the old CW show The Tomorrow People, so if you’re familiar with that show you’ll get the reference. You will just need to read it to see how good the story is for yourself.
Lauren Keely co-wrote this story with Jonathan Luna. Jonathan also gave Lauren some script assists as well. This makes me lean in the direction that they collaborated on the story but that Lauren scripted the book and Jonathan made a few tweaks here and there since he also illustrated this book. So let’s talk story. To start with the story was so much stronger than the artwork. If you recall earlier, I did say in these black and white comics it’s the story that really needs to stand out to be able to hold your attention. Well done, Lauren and Jonathan! As much as I want to read the next issue after those last two pages, I need to see an improvement in the artwork for this to happen. This could just be as simple as getting a top-notch inker on board for the finishes. It’s not like the art was terrible, there was just something missing.
So this one has got to be a middle of the road for me. The story has me clamoring for more, the art not so much at this point. There is always hope though. Maybe if Jonathan does layouts and backgrounds, since I thought that they were strong and get someone to tighten up the look and finish of the book then it will be a solid book all around. If that happens 20XX will make it to the top of my read pile until then it’s under a top 10 read for me. Please Like, Comment, Share and as always Keep, it Geek!
The story has me clamoring for more, the art not so much.