Search This Blog

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Borderline Vol 4. Carlos Trillo (Writer), Eduardo Risso (Art). Dynamite Entertainment (2011)

The final volume of a bleak dystopian science fiction story. In the crumbling remains of the earth the sub-dregs sell body parts to survive or trade for drugs sold by the two competing powers, the Commune and the Council. Climate change started the social and political breakdown, the work of Open Heimmer who turned acid rain into a weapon and designed a weapon of mass destruction to complete the elimination of official enemies completed the process that brought about the existing brutal reality.
The stories in the volume are loosely linked as they follow the cast on the Moon where the Marshall controls both the Council and the Commune to Lisa, the deaf mute assassin of the Council and Wolf, the savage agent of the Council. Moving from the activities and nightmares of Lida and Wolf on a radioactive night when the barely living come out to dance in the polluted night to a brutal trip back in time by Wolf , who discovers that he has the time to cut a swathe through an unsuspecting city to his unexpected meeting with his daughter the stories flow in violence and rage.
Gradually the the final descent comes into view lead by a physic that whose Life Lisa saved and who launches a plan to take down down both the Council and the Commune. The conclusion is as dark, cold and bleak as the rest of the stories, as inevitable as it needs to be.
One of the problems with dystopian fiction is reader fatigue, unrelenting misery and profound pessimism are wearing, Carlos Trillo manages to move through this by both stripping the stories down to the barest details required to move the action forward and by the very careful use of a cutting humor that gives the reader a break. The cast are all vibrantly alive, the most brutal are never just one note shadows, they have interior as well as exterior lives. This creates a subtle and engaging emotional context for the action which Carlos Trillo uses to frequently astonishing effect. His consistent ability to find and contrast shades of black in the drams is amazing, no one is going to go quietly into the good or bad night.
Eduardo Risso matches the art to the story, it is extraordinary use of black and white, it provides the necessary details for the stripped down stories. The cast are expressive and individual, extreme in their portrayal  as they are in their actions. The two tone art never seems limited or restrictive, it creates consistently unexpected mood, space and shadow, the high contrast underlining the extremity of the circumstances. The sustained vision of the two creators across the four volumes is wonderful, the bitter conclusion fitting and satisfying.  A tightly focused and exhilarating work, it  never softens its premise nor the outcome, the energy of the storytelling and the art lift it above its own otherwise numbing despair.

No comments:

Post a Comment