Geek Goggle Reviews: Invisible Republic #1-5

by Jeff

Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews

664587_320 Geek Goggle Reviews: Invisible Republic #1-5Invisible Republic #1-5
Image Comics
Hardman, Bechko & Boyd

Invisible Republic” recently completed its opening arc and manages to tell two simultaneous tales. The comic book is turning into a very slow burn of a story, which contradicts the pace of the opening issue. However, the comic book is bringing together a number of good ideas and telling an entertaining story in the process. The artwork is one of the true highlights of the opening arc as it brings a very dark, but detailed tone to the story. This is the kind of comic book that when it takes it off you will be happy you joined in on the ground floor. This arc is one to pick up.

The primary thread is set in the year 2843 and follows along a disgraced journalist named Croger Babb. He’s trying to resuscitate his career as he gathers some reaction to the recently ended dictatorship known as the Mallory Regime. He happens upon a bonfire of paper. The paper is a journal written by a woman named Maia. She happens to be a cousin of Arthur McBride, the dictator. Her journal seems to chronicle his rise to power and is told from an important point-of-view because she was an active participant.

The second thread of the story is the rise to power of Arthur as told in a flashback. It doesn’t specify how long ago the flashback starts, but the first issue tells the tale of Arthur killing some of the government’s guards as they harass Arthur and Maia who are minding their own business camping out after catching some fish. Arthur is portrayed as calm, but with an extreme temper. He’s clearly bottling up something fierce. He also seems to have a soft spot for Maia, but his personality is to lead and therefore what he says goes.

The second issue pulls in Babb into a conspiracy. He is pursued by those that don’t want him telling the McBride story at all and want that journal he’s found.

Meanwhile, McBride and Maia find themselves on the run as a result of the murder of the guards. McBride seems to find some fault in Maia’s actions. This might be the point that pushes him over the edge.

The final three issues in the first arc takes on a slower pace. Mostly because Maia is separated from McBride and when she sees him again he already has decent sized following and causes quite a stir. Unfortunately, his first steps in his rise to power occurs off-panel. With that power though comes some powerful images in the fifth issue.

Croger gets some help, partially because people don’t believe he’s capable of tackling this story and also because he just isn’t connected enough. Pieces begin to fit together as the fifth issue comes to a close with a good cliffhanger.

The arc is at its best when it deals with Maia and McBride. McBride’s power is best defined when he is relating to his cousin. She has a good head on her shoulders and seems to grapple with right and wrong, which lines up perfectly with McBride’s swift and decisive actions. The other supporting characters just don’t appear to be on their level and struggle to find footing with these two characters that seem to dominate the panels whenever they appear.

Croger is a buffoon. Whether that’s the intentional or not, he’s not a likeable character and he seems dimwitted. Croger is argumentative, potentially an alcoholic and is sort of a pig. The character’s weaknesses help to build up McBride and Maia even more. Even his companions are stronger as a result. He just doesn’t seem to be capable of pulling off anything impressive. We’ll see how this shapes up in the coming issues.

geekgoggle Geek Goggle Reviews: Invisible Republic #1-5The artwork is stunning beyond words. There is a change throughout each issue where the images stay close to a black, white and grayscale whereas other images add some brighter colors to add some depth to the comic book. For example, Maia’s red hair or the green stripes on her shirt jump off the page. However, when Croger heads to the library in the fourth issue the panels appear to be almost entirely black and white. The details in the pencils never cease their fine look though. The panels have such sharp inking on the pencils you can’t help but study the line work and find new treasures here and there. The comic book looks as good as anything currently being published and the style seems to be a perfect fit for the distant future with so many strange things and dark themes at work. This is a beautiful visual story.

Invisible Republic” shows the beginnings of a would-be dictator as told in flashbacks from a journal written by his cousin. The two, McBride and Maia, are very strong characters that are written with the right balance of emotion and power. The journal is the keystone for the “story” as being researched by Croger. Croger is clownish but determined to get to the bottom of the McBride story. The comic has shades of Breaking Bad with the protagonist turning into the antagonist but it is more focused on keeping Maia as the protagonist throughout. The artwork is stunning. It uses black and white panels at times but switches over to finely colored ones at others to highlight key points in the story. Five issues into the series and the first arc is complete. With the next issue getting published in September, this is the perfect time to track down the issues. This is a series to pick up.

4 out of 5 Geek Goggles

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