"Broken Moon #1" Comic Review
Written by James Ferguson
Published by American Gothic Press
Written by Steve Niles
Illustrated by Nat Jones
2015, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 9th, 2015
It's really only a matter of time until we totally screw up the world, right? Broken Moon offers a version of the future where we've colonized the moon...and then blew it up in a war over territory. As a result, the Earth gets completely borked as tides rise and poisonous gas pollutes the atmosphere. Humanity is on the verge of extinction and literal monsters have risen to take their rightful place at the top of the food chain. Now, instead of countries like the US and China, there are different areas made up of breeds of beasts, like vampires and werewolves. The remaining humans are struggling to survive, fighting back when they can, but it's a losing battle. This background is explained in a quick five pages at the beginning of this issue. It instantly gives you all the information you need to dive right into the book.
What's interesting about the immediate concept of Broken Moon is that the monsters have fallen into the same issues that governments faced on a day-to-day basis. They're fighting over territory and resources and they've carved up what remains of the planet into various “countries.” On the surface, this might sound like your typical vampires vs. werewolves type story, where humanity hangs in the balance. That is far from the truth. Humans don't really matter at this point. They're food for vampires and they barely register with the werewolves. Plus, they don't have much in the way of numbers, so there's not much they can do aside from run away in terror.
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What sets Broken Moon apart is the fact that the monsters have won. They are no longer hiding in the shadows. They're out in the open. Now that they have that spot, what do they do with it? Vampires knew how to live when they were in secret, but ruling is a different story. They're like the new super power with bat-like jets that patrol the skies purposely polluted to keep the sun out.
There is a fantastic shot of the monsters rising to power from artist Nat Jones. A vampire is in the front of the pack, flanked by a werewolf and another beast. Other creatures lurk behind them in the darkness, with only their yellow eyes peering through. The moon...or what's left of it, hangs with a haunting presence in the sky. That moon is one of the more striking images in the book as it really carries the weight of what happened. Things got so bad that the moon is literally busted. Huge chunks are just missing from it.
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Jones' artwork is rather loose, giving it a sketch-like vibe. The pencils could be tighter and might have benefited from a good inker. His style is similar to that of Christopher Mitten, a frequent collaborator with writer Steve Niles. This look works well in shots with blood splatter or explosions, but could be cleaned up a little in some of the close up shots.
Broken Moon presents a dark version of the future for those living in it and a pretty awesome one for anyone reading that loves monsters. I can't wait to see what other creatures the creative team has in store for the rest of the series. Will these beasts learn to live in peace with some sort of monster version of the United Nations? Or will they squander it all like we did?