By Hiroki Endo (Titan Books)
In a world decimated by the ‘Closure Virus’ and racked by global civil war, survivor Elijah Ballard is ranging through South America, seeking his lost mother when he is captured by a band of soldiers. Initially they seem more interested in Cherubim, his robot bodyguard, but eventually he begins to bond with the disparate unit of flawed and exotic warriors fighting a war for power on a planet that needs every human left if humanity is to regain its pre-eminence.
As the group make their way over the mountains to rest in Cuzco City they are attacked by a Propater force. Although that is basically the plot for this volume the asides into the nature of ideology and conflict are intriguingly revealing and the examinations of the various characters motivations and coping mechanisms are both evocative and telling. Trapped and under pressure Elijah and the others exhibit rare humanity in a milieu both dehumanising and increasingly artificial.
By flashback and cross cutting we also learn that Elijah and his mother may be much more that citizens caught in the tide, and the young man may well be the most strategic piece on the blood-soaked world stage. Was his capture just an accident or does he have a secret value?
This Titan Books edition is printed in Japanese format – that is read from back to front and right-to-left, but don’t let that deter you. You’ll rapidly adjust and the slight effort is worth it. Blending beautiful drawing with breakneck action and strong characterisation, this series will appeal to fans and casual readers alike – as long as they’re over 18. Fair warning: this volume ends on a cliffhanger, so if you’re impatient you might want to wait for the third volume before you start reading.
© 2007 Hiroki Endo. All Rights Reserved.