I don’t give every first issue a chance but Image Comics has been pretty spectacular lately (The Manhattan Project, The Walking Dead’s 100th issue, etc.) and when I saw the first issue of Debris at my local comic shop I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t really care for it, partially because I found it boring but also because author Kurtis J. Wiebe didn’t really set the story up well. Here’s what Image’s website has to say about Debris’ debut issue:
In the far future, humanity has doomed planet earth to rot and decay, covering her surface with garbage. Now, ancient spirits called the Colossals rise from the debris and attack the remaining survivors, forcing the human race to the brink of extinction. One warrior woman, Maya, sets out to find the last source of pure water to save the world before the monsters bring it all to an end.
I don’t think explaining the story any further is necessary but briefly elaborating on the science fiction/fantasy tropes implemented for the story is. It’s doubtful Wiebe wants a chronological date attached to Debris—and that’s fine—but the story sticks to the simple master/apprentice archetype, where the master dies so the understudy can evolve. The main character Maya, like Obi-Wan Kenobi in those appalling Star Wars prequels, has to see her master die before she can become self-actualized. Granted, I like that the story is using a woman as the protagonist, especially one who isn’t hyper-sexualized like a J. Scott Campbell character, but these characters aren’t interesting. I’m supposed to care that these mechanical creatures are attacking them and destroying their water supply but I don’t. Realistically, there’s nothing compelling here and that’s not just because the tropes used are overplayed but also because the characters are flat.
The artwork by Riley Rossmo (Proof) isn’t bad but a little lazy at times. Where other artists would include faces in action shots there are moments where the characters are devoid of any facial features. Instead, they are just fighting figures with no emotional content. At least the colors, unlike most of comic books in the digital age, seem hand done and show the flaws of human contact with the paper. Thank god, as it’s one of the few saving graces for the first installment of Debris.