The New World #3
Writer: Aleš Kot
Artist: Tradd Moore
Color Artist: Heather Moore
Flatter: Ludwig Olimba
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Designer: Tom Muller
A review by Christoph Staffl
The last time we saw Kirby and Stella they decided to run away together (with Kirby’s dad that is). Unfortunately trapped inside a windowless bathroom because Stella has at least one camera and one microphone implanted in her body. Now they have to get rid of the surveillance gadgets or they can never escape the government. Never leave Stella’s father behind. Never live happily ever after.
It is a very creepy thought that the company or government you are working for can access your senses, whenever they want to. See what you see, hear what you hear, and always know your exact location. The theme of the third installment of this spectacular series is all about trust and respect. Can Stella trust Kirby to remove or at least deactivate the sensors? Can Kirby trust Stella to leave everything behind, though she has seemingly strong routes? And what about Stella’s cat? Can Kitty trust Stella to get her, before she leaves the country with her newfound family?
The story continues to shine and the characters decisions are all comprehensible. Nothing seems out of character or out of place. Everything that has been established so far is the foundation for what is to come and everything that is happening is grounded in past experiences. That does not mean that there are no surprises within the story. There are plenty and it is fun to jump through the hoops with our protagonists. One problem at a time, at least sometimes.
Tradd Moore, more than in the previous issues, breaks out of his standard wide panels to create a special feeling for every scene. He takes us from 16-panel pages to sequences where the panel borders appear to melt into one another. In addition to that, instead of gutter-less pages, Moore uses a new, engaging technique in the series to create a tense, rushed, and fast-paced feeling. It especially works in action sequences. Plus you get the impression that no one is safe. Everyone can die.
I also have to talk about the design of the world again: The contradiction between how this world feels and what is happening in it is unique. The round shapes and the lack of hard edges for some parts of the surroundings make everything look kind of fluffy and soft. Be it the tiles, towels, parts of the uniform or furniture – I want to touch and feel the apparently soft surfaces of everything. Add the bright colors by Heather Moore and you get a world you want to live in and explore for yourself.
On the other hand, you have hard-boiled action, murder and uncomfortable scenes (e.g. the operation, when Kirby deactivates the sensor in Stella’s head). The unrealistic, abstract uniforms are also intimating. You do not want to piss off anyone wearing them.
Read it! The New World is one of my favorite comic book series at the moment. Fleshed out, engaging characters trying to survive in a hostile, abstract world is a fun combination and I am eager to find out where this series is headed. The only bad thing I have to say about it: it is a five-issue limited series. I want more!