REVIEW: Wynter #1

Story: Guy Hasson
Art: Aron Elekes
Letters: Aron Elekes
Colors: Aron Elekes
Publisher: New Worlds Comics
Release Date: February 26, 2014

Wynter debuted many months ago, but for a number of reasons, I never got around to reviewing it. Other commitments must have been the culprit, because this book definitely merits a more than cursory glance. I’ve read more comic books than I care to admit to in certain circles, but this one stands out in my mind, and I’d gladly recommend it, even to someone who’s not an avid comics reader. While it’s not quite a masterpiece, it’s certainly close, both in concept and execution.

It’s a gem of speculative fiction with a cyberpunk edge. The story revolves around Liz, a teenager in an overpopulated and overly quantified future, where the powers that be will stop at nothing to root out each individual’s personal sense of uniqueness, or as the book puts it, the ability to feel ‘special’.

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The book is reminiscent of Equilibrium, the 2002 film starring Christian Bale and Taye Diggs. Here though, the focus is not on ridding people of  emotions in general, but rather a certain level of individual awareness. The government will still allow you to get angry, to feel elated or even depressed, just so long as you understand that nothing you feel is new or above all else, exclusive.

Hasson achieves his vision through a running narrative, via Liz’s internal AI; an emotionless voice that incessantly reminds her that every thought or emotion she has has already been experienced, sometimes several millions times over. The effect is jarring and  Liz’s listlessness is tangible. She does almost anything to stand out, to be noticed. That translates to a number of run-ins with the law.

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Liz herself is more or less your average teenager; dejected, rebellious and searching for more meaning to her life than she feels is offered to her by her society. Like I said, typical teenager. It’s this emotional familiarity though, that keeps Wynter from spiraling to far into left field and makes it not only readable, but enjoyable.

Elekes art is similar to Alex Ross or maybe even Esad Ribic’s work on Silver Surfer Requiem; moody, realistic, and very good. Lots of artists are going panel-less these days, in what seems to be a trend toward a more organic feel and Wynter is no different in that regard. While many of the pages do have traditional layouts many others do not and it’s something that I’m still getting used to; at times it worked against the flow of the story.

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That minor gripe aside, this book deserves your attention if you’re a fan of good sci-fi.

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