Broken World #3
by Frank Barbiere, Christopher Peterson and Marissa Louise
There is something amiss with this Elena. The story’s lead brought readers into the world as she was working to obtain forged documents to be able to get off world with the Pax group before impact. Since that time, Barbiere has skirted around the reasoning for just why this character wouldn’t pass the screening. As she and her student try to seek out a nearby encampment, the story manages to get even more strange. The penultimate issue of Broken World continues to be exciting, diving deeper into the dynamics of the factions of people left behind. How the story intends to reach a conclusion next issue, however, remains to be seen.
Elena still believes that she will find a way to reunite with her husband and son. There is a rumored location for a final shuttle and military base that she and Emma are traveling towards. Barbiere continues to tell the story through hints and implications as Elena is captured by the military group and separated from Emma and her brother. While the urgency of Elena’s plans are at the forefront of the character’s drive, the story is packing in so much more. Barbiere has created an incredibly interesting dynamic here within Broken World. The story has raised a number of questions about the Pax group, the Children of the Revelation, along with the number of unknowns surrounding the lead character. Because the book took off rather quickly in its first issue, readers still know very little about Elena. Still, Barbiere manages to propel the story forward here in issue three and insinuate a good deal about her history as she is tasked with infiltrating a nearby camp occupied by the Children of the Revelation and its leader, Ted Holmes. There a few twists in this issue and it is unclear just how honest anyone is being towards each other. Several conversations in Broken World #3 appear to be loaded with subtext and it is hard to know if anyone can be trusted.
Christopher Peterson’s art with colors by Marissa Louise are a big part of the storytelling and reading experience over these three issues. There is something almost serene about the pencils and colors in the story. There are so many sequences and moments that look peaceful, with something sinister beneath the surface. The military base that Emma has come to looks as welcoming as one might hope in such a world. Peterson’s depiction of the grounds, with the warm colors by Louise betray one’s senses as Captain Griffith talks about people’s usefulness. Even one member staying in the camp suggests than not every will serve a purpose. Later, when Elena visits the area occupied by the Children, the presentation of the characters in the town, in how they are written along with how Peterson and Louise design them, all lend to a sensation of uncertainty. Between the writing from Barbiere and the art style of Peterson and Louise, there is a significant tension created. Somehow the creators have found a way to elicit such an emotion implicitly.
As the issue rounds out, there are still a number of unknowns surrounding Elena, the Pax group and the situation on Earth. With only one issue to go in the series, it will be interesting to see just how the creators intend to find a resolution. Barbiere has introduced a number of interesting story elements and the universe of Broken World is impressively rich. The third issue of the series maintains this intrigue, but with so much ground still to cover it feels a like there will be a lot packed into the final chapter. It is possibly with that in mind that this chapter seems slightly underwhelming.