Comic Book Wednesday: ‘Blackacre’

There is something fascinating about the end of the world. Whether in written or visual form, dystopian societies draw people in.  As a society, we can’t get enough of it.

According to the beginning of “Blackacre,” that is our downfall.

When at the beginning of this comic I learn, from a lecturer in the year 2202, that the downfall in society — referred to here as the Dark Ages — were a result of zombies versus pirates, I thought, “Oh no.” How silly does that sound? But as the next few pages progress, the story becomes eerily familiar and has a tinge of possibility.

The rest of the comic begins in Spring 2114, and introduces quite a few storylines.

We meet a man named Hull and an army protecting the former territory of the United States near the Rocky Mountains, and then jump to a gruesome scene of a family being torn apart by a zealous lot of religious people, telling the father he had been excommunicated by the Prophet. These men didn’t last long, either, when another group of people come walking in and kill the zealots. However, these men don’t seem to belong to the new army, but more of a militia.

We then jump to a place called Blackacre, the mother of all gated communities, where a city-state was developed by ultra-wealthy businessmen, security contractors and political gurus. These people promised to save the United States, but instead went after their own interests to save themselves as the world began to rot.

Hull is part of this Blackacre community, and though he is now on his way to a comfy desk job, Executor Terrence Sinclair is asking for his help to find a man named Greene. He was a field operative, a spy who kept an eye on the “hostile population.” He went missing, and Blackacre’s government is determined to get him back. Or are they? From the ending, it looks like Blackacre will just sweep this issue under the rug.

As I said above, I feel like there might be a few too many storylines for this first issue. It can get confusing at times, as the artistic transitions are vague. The art, done by Wendell Cavalcanti, is not spectacular and some of the characters look so similar, I got lost a few times about who was speaking. Cavalcanti does know how to portray a gruesome scene and has some unique panel pages, but I am not sure if that can help this comic when the going gets tough and I lose interest because of the confusion.

However, writer Duffy Boudreau took on some serious issues and spun the dystopian issue in a different direction. I really enjoyed that it was like Boudreau gave a big “F you” to the big corporations. This comic story screams “Wake up, world!” as opposed to trying to make it so fantastical that it could never happen to us.

This Image Comics title could become something great, so I have added it to my must-read list for now.


Comic Book Wednesday showcases a variety of visually based books that fit into this wide category, to give a taste of this other form of reading.

About Bethany Fehlinger

Bethany Fehlinger is a multiplatform journalist in the features department at the York Daily Record. She is a graduate of Penn State University, is a York City dweller and has been vegan and geek for more than three years. Twitter: @Wonder_vegan
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