Note: This is a guest post by Gray. For more, follow him on Twitter @TGunLikesComics
When we think of “hot” writers, it is hard not to think of James Tynion. Between Something Is Killing the Children and Department of Truth, Tynion has shown his ability to launch new series. His latest series, W0rldtr33, sees him teaming up with artist Fernando Blanco to create a neo-noir, psychological thriller that explores the common theme of fear in a new twisted way. Without question, W0rldTr33 #1 has a thrilling premise, but does the first issue deliver on the expectations?
The premise of the story is interesting, but the problem is that we don’t know for certain what it is exactly. Without discussing major spoilers, we can say that the first issue largely sets up plot threads that will be covered in later issues. As a result, a majority of the information that we currently have could be proven false as later issues come out. What we do know is that there is a version of the dark web that was created in the ‘90s. This web can infect the minds of those who view it. We also know that the group of people who were originally involved with it as teenagers will be teaming up to defeat it once again. (Does this premise sound familiar?) There’s clearly a mystery involved in this story and questions to be answered as to the who, what, why, and when. Thankfully, there’s enough story in the first issue for most readers to decide whether this story is for them.
The art is done by Fernanda Blanco with colorist Jordie Bellaire, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Blanco’s interesting perspectives lend themselves well to the twelve-panel grid that they often employ. Due to the story’s content, Blanco is called upon to portray intense, emotional moments and also visceral moments of violence and gore. Blanco delivers on both fronts as figures are rendered in dynamic perspectives that make even the simplest panel worth studying. Bellaire’s colors compliment the art perfectly as well. Scenes are washed in warm colors that add a sense of calmness to the pages in moments where an emotional beat is felt while depictions of violence and horror are drenched in dirty greens and sickly yellows to create beautifully grotesque images. There isn’t much to add, but it seems the art alone is worth the price of admission.
The execution of the premise is exciting. It’s essentially It Chapter Two meets The Terminator, and Tynion seems to be getting out of his own way. As usual, Tynion’s casual dialogue hits more times than it misses and keeps an appearance of relatability and realism. In the past he has written issues that are so decompressed that reading them monthly becomes a frustration. Thankfully, W0rldTr33 #1 avoided this and contained enough story to satisfy most (if not all) readers. The issue paces itself well in that each scene feels like it is the appropriate length, but the transitions from scene to scene are abrupt which causes the book to move at a breakneck pace. Despite this speed, Tynion’s signature horror tone is felt throughout, making it a worthy spiritual successor to Something Is Killing the Children and Department of Truth.
Whenever I read Tynion’s brand of horror, I can’t help but feel a sense of delicious dread. It’s difficult to create something truly scary in the comic book industry simply because the medium does not have the specific tools that novels and movies have to terrify a reader. Saying that, comics have the ability to make me feel a sense of dread, and W0rldTr33 is no exception. Tynion builds the tension so well and depicts situations as so desperate that each page turn feels like a painful (yet entirely necessary) part of the reading process. This tension is built so well that the violence is in turn made more important and valuable to the overall quality of this first issue of W0rldTr33. The book is not perfect; it would be nice to have a bit more backstory and context for what the W0rldTr33 program is, the design of the main antagonist, Ph34r, seems exploitative, and some critics will call it overly cynical. When those criticisms are overlooked, however, it becomes clear that this is one of the best issues that Tynion has written to date. W0rldTr33 #1 is a thrilling read that leaves the reader salivating for issue #2.