For time beyond memory, the Nine Families watched from the shadows, believing themselves shepherds and manipulating whole societies as they saw fit. Nothing happened that they didn’t observe or control. Outsiders knew naught of the Families, much less threatened them. Until now.
I have never been one to get into politics, but with current times it’s hard not to. You really have to wonder if there are higher powers pulling strings, and if so, what are they thinking right now? Now collecting the first half dozen issues, the Cryptocracy trade looks further into a world where that is the case.
Following the attack in issue one, the Elders of the nine Families gather to debate, or rather argue about the recent events. Somehow, the mysterious assailant being called Hum enters the secure facility and attacks again. Meanwhile, the conspiracy podcaster Bela is contacted (unknowingly by Hum) and given access to information to expose the Families and their activities. Later on, our main character Grahame is granted access to the Ninth level within the Mars family and learns of some startling secrets, especially that of the Nine Prophecies. Not believing them at first, he takes agent and friend Jason who happens to be a bugbear, to capture Hum. This does not end well, with Hum letting loose earthquakes across the globe, fulfilling the second prophecy.
Grahame and Jason head to The Preserve, a safe haven for all manner of monsters in hopes of learning more about Mothmen, Hum’s personal soldiers. Unfortunately, Hum had already gotten to many of the creatures and the pair have to fight out of an ambush. Hum continues to work multiple sides of the war, trying to get Bela to be the voice of his cause. He even gets Temple to turn on her father in an attempt to become the next Elder of the Mars Family. Learning of her contact with Hum, Grahame and Jason hunt her down, but realize she’s been deceived by him and work together instead. Despite her ploy to take over, Grahame challenges Temple’s claim and defeats her, becoming the new Elder. No sooner does this happen that Hum and his army of monsters attack the base to destroy the Family. Along with the skill of agents defending the base, Grahame’s intuition finds Hum’s weakness and kills him and ending the conflict for now…or so he thinks.
This was a welcomed opportunity to explore the artwork past just the first issue I read so long ago. All of the crisp lineart and strong colors continued to impress through all five additional books in this volume. There was obviously a lot more great action to see and all of the new creature designs were really fun.
With the way that this collection was left off, it easily paves the way for more which I do hope happens. The story just kept getting better as I turned the pages and I’d gladly read more. It’s no conspiracy folks, this is a fantastic book and it shouldn’t take mind warping to convince you to buy it.
For more on Cryptocracy or other Dark Horse books, check out Dark Horse Comics.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.