Review – w0rldtr33 #1 (Image Comics)

Publisher: Image Comics
Words: James Tynion
Art: Fernando Blanco
Colours: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Aditya Bidikar
Release Date: 26th April 2023

Sometimes a new book comes along and its easy to get caught up in the moment and think its the best thing since, well, the last best thing you read. Maybe it’s because the art is punchy, the writing is tight and keeps you turning page after page, or maybe it’s because of a novel concept which begs exploring; or at least presented in a novel feeling way. w0rldtr33 manages to do all of these and whilst I might have trouble conferring the specifics of why, it delivers a content feeling of bewilderment.

Without giving too much away, the focus of the story is split into three core areas. The first follows Gibson Lane, a teenager on a bloody murder spree who is livecasting everything to the world, the second, Gibson’s brother Elison and how he reacts, and thirdly, the character of Gabriel, a rich techie with an obvious historic connection to the w0rldtr33 and the concept of the Underweb. What is w0rldtr33 and the Underweb? That, dear reader, is something we need to stay tuned to find out as we know scant else except some hints as to its effects and how it was ‘defeated’ in the past. I should also draw attention to the naked assassin and her connection to the events and the characters in play but when writing all of this down I realise just how weird all of this sounds and wonder whether the Underweb has gotten to me too…

Tynion’s writing doesn’t feel stilted or forced, despite some heavy concepts, with Bidkiar’s lettering and the rest of the gorgeous art lending each character their own distinctive voice. For all the action and ‘in your face’ panels contained within, there’s also a fair bit of dialogue and character building here which gives us a little time and space to connect with, principally, Elison. Repeating panels with subtle changes in expression place us firmly in the conversation and helps immerse the reader. This also aids in ramping up the shock factor when we see these glitches from the Underweb or when the gore and blood start flowing.

Combining classic elements of King with the group of friends who must re-unite after decades of estrangement to once again thwart an insiduous evil and save the world, with more pressing concerns of how the youngest among us deal with the pressures of desensitation arising from living almost vicariously online, the w0rldtr33 team successfully keep a lot of plates spinning. This is great sci-fi horror which for all the show, still leaves so many questions unanswered. Would you risk potentially losing control of yourself, and of reality, just for the chance to see and know a little more?

Rating: 4/5.

The writer of this piece was: Adam Brown
Adam Tweets from @brother_rooster

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