Review – Broken World #3 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Christopher Peterson
Release Date: 5th August, 2015

I was quite positive about Broken World on the back of the first two issues, although the theme is one that has been written about before you were investing in the main character; my one reservation was that I thought the story seems, well, a little rushed.

After reading issue three I’m absolutely positive of this, and in my opinion it’s to the detriment of the story. There are too many good elements here that are crying to be fleshed out more, but it’s only a four issue run. I think it should be at least three times that and, for this reviewer, I ultimately feel like I’m been pushed through the story without getting the chance to stop and actually see what is happening.

It’s infuriating too – because there are some really good ideas here. The Children of the Revelation and the Military outpost could really do with a lot of fleshing out here, but sadly they are not. Captain Griffiths (from issue one) is suddenly in charge of the whole military operation, but his “so you do remember me,” line just seemed weak as his exposure from the first issue wasn’t as defining as that line would suggest, it just emphasises the need for more story. Again, it is suggested that the military camp is a place that could work, there is some order here and humanity (what is left) may have a chance, but then there comes a lot of veiled threats that suggest perhaps under the surface things may be otherwise, but it’s all done over a few pages and is too fast.

We find same thing at the Children of the Revelation site. We know them to be a bit if a fanatical religious extreme group, yet the compound Elena has to infiltrate is like your quintessential American small town and the people in it are as nice as pie. It’s not at all what we have been led to believe the Children to be. It’s a nice switch, and both scenarios have a slight whiff of The Governor’s compound in TWD, but again I can’t shake the feeling that this is all too rushed. The one thing I do want to know – why Elena was denied passage on an Arc in the first place – hasn’t been built on.

I really wanted to like Broken World, and I see a lot of ideas from other titles (Y: The Last Man, TWD, even Contact) that are here and could work, but it just isn’t gelling together like it should and I genuinely think this is a lost opportunity. An extended run would allow more balance and a better pace to this story; too much is being crammed into four episodes in a way that isn’t working well for me. Individually there are some great elements; Elena and her struggle to find a way onto an Arc and back to her family, Emma and David’s journey in this new landscape on the back of their parents committing suicide before the meteor was due to hit; Captain Griffiths feeling that as a military man it’s down to him to salvage what they can on the earth, or finding a way for him and his people off and onto an Arc; and the Children trying to create a new Utopia after the failed extinction event despite their prior fanaticism. Hell, I feel like this could practically write itself. It would just need more than four episodes.

Rating: An opportunity missed. 2/5.

The writer of this piece was: Andrew McGlinn
Andrew Tweets from @Jockdoom.

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