A man comes home from Guantanamo Bay, irrevocably changed. An actress receives an offer that can revive her career. A boy survives a riot and becomes embedded within a revolutionary movement. A philosopher is contacted by a being that dismantles his beliefs. Look around you. Everything is material.
Material is the kind of a comic that you need to read a half dozen times to get the true gist of the story. This is a story with a very wide, disparate plot that comes to a very slow boil, in fact, by the end of issue one, it feels like burner hasn’t even been turned on. Material, is a comic for hard-core science fiction junkies that are in it for the long haul. The subject matter is the human condition, and all its myriad wonder. The characters are designed with care, and meant to truly grab the reader’s heartstrings. By the end of this first book, we are just beginning to get an idea for who they are, and how they relate to the story as a whole.
As if this wasn’t enough writer, Ales Kot, seems intent on handing out homework assignments to the reader. The bottom of each page bears references to literature, plays, quotes, and people of interest to the crux of the story, i.e. Tamir Rice and Michael Brown. For interested fans, these references will be easter eggs to elaborate on the scripting. Make no mistake, this comic is something aimed toward intellectuals. There are no slam-bang action scenes, no garishly colored, costumed heroes, and no quick answers to who is the “bad-guy” or “good-guy”. The plotting is intricate, and developed, the art realistic and gritty. I can’t say I was a fan of this style myself, it seems to lend itself more to a novel, or movie screenplay than a comic book, but readers who are desperate for elaborate scripting with a far reaching message should adore Material.
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.