Wynter #3

9.3 Overall Score
Art: 10/10
Dialogue: 8/10
Story: 10/10

A well-realized, thought-provoking concept. | Jaw-dropping artwork. | Perfect pacing, adding in just enough information to keep readers invested without overwhelming them too quickly with concepts, ideas and world details. | A relatable protagonist.

This will likely be addressed and become a non-issue in future installments, but there has been very little person-to-person dialogue since the story's onset, making judging that criteria a bit difficult. That said, its absence hasn't hindered the plot in the slightest.

Wynter #3
Guy Hasson, Aron Elekes
New Worlds Comics
2014

(Download issues 1-3 of Wynter HERE and pay any price you want—or none at all. Your choice.)
(Click HERE for a review of issues 1 and 2 by TuffGnarl.com’s Chuck Livid.)

When I was a kid, an interesting idea occurred to me: What if everyone saw colors in completely different ways—what’s blue to me might be red through someone else’s eyes, and so forth—but our subjective views, coupled with the reinforcement of the emotional and symbolic attachments to each color, made it so we could go our whole lives not knowing this was the case.

Of course, I’d learn this was patently not the case, but for a brief while the idea had me feeling very clever and original. In New Worlds Comics’ dystopian future, however, that feeling would be squashed almost immediately with a message similar to this: “’I am special’. 200 Bil+ had same thought in last 30 seconds; 10 Bil+ are same age as you. Would you like to know who they are?” See, feeling that you’re special in the year 9898 is not only frowned upon, it’s actively deterred, both chemically, with drugs like Quell, and via a neural artificial intelligence implant, which, in addition to managing thousands of apps and registering a person’s optical reaction during eye contact to tell if someone is attracted to you, takes note of every thought that goes through your mind and informs you of just how unoriginal you are.

This lack of uniqueness goes beyond merely our thought processes; humanity has existed for so long that every possible combination of human DNA has occurred. There are literally thousands of genetically identical people existing at the same time across the galaxy and beyond.

Those who balk at this system—not unlike the society we saw in George Lucas’ pre-Star Wars masterpiece THX-1138—are considered terrorists and treated as such. When twentysomething Liz Wynter and her friend Shane happen upon an app that allows them to steal apps from anyone nearby, they stumble upon “Subversive,” an app whose content and capabilities infers one thing: an uprising is coming.

—–

**ISSUE 1 & 2 SPOILERS BELOW8**

Unfortunately for Liz (and even less fortunate for Shane), their possession of the apps in question mark them as prospective terrorists on the planet Melantho and the powers that be sic Supreme Agent Alex Grace on them. Grace is quick in dispatching Shane, however Liz lands herself in jail after stealing her teacher’s car and taking chase. Upon sentencing, they inject her with a year’s worth of Quell, which will start taking effect in 30 days. Grace eventually tracks her down to her holding cell and, at the end of the second issue, he takes aim with his sidearm and fires, the predictive algorithmic implants in his brain all but assuring a direct hit.

 —–

Issue 3 opens with a very cool sequence which shows readers how to fool such algorithms. After tricking Grace into believing she has uploaded a virus into his system, she makes a getaway. This issue follows her as she crosses the city in escape, shedding some of her most beloved apps and virtual worlds with the hope that it will remove her from the ever-present grid. One of the aforementioned characteristics of this three-dimensional world allows for a very surprise ending.

Aside from looking absolutely gorgeous (and this is no hyperbole; this is a stunningly beautiful book, its painted images absolutely jaw-dropping from page to page), Wynter is a blast to read. Each distinguishing element is introduced at a digestible pace for readers, so nothing feels too overwhelming, but they occur at such a steady click that, by the end of the first issue, its reality is fully realized and believable. Creator/Writer/cultural anthropologist Guy Hasson credits a single question, “How can you be special if everything you felt or did has already been done billions of times before?” as the inspiration for the story, and he has yet to lose sight of that central theme. In this issue, as Liz was making her getaway, she momentarily blended in with a group of police officers who were viewing a video outlining a plan to begin injecting infants with Quell from birth, eliminating any and all original thought for good. “We will begin a new generation of mankind that will never feel special again,” explained the scientist in the video. “Crime will drop! Humankind will be able to work more productively! Artists will disappear!”

Shortly, everyone viewing the video began chanting in unison, “The era of feeling special is over!”

Some lofty stuff for a comic book, that’s for sure.

Amid a landscape of regurgitated ideas, reboots and spinoffs, a story like Wynter is a much-needed breath of fresh air. Graphically, Aaron Elekes puts many books from major publishers to shame, his detailed paintings offering up warmth in a comparatively cold world. Story-wise, its high-brow concepts, pitch-perfect internal monologues and exemplary pacing blow its contemporaries out of the water. The marriage of these two ingredients is a shining example of what can be accomplished when creators create for the right reason. Plainly put, Wynter is among the finest books this comic book reviewer has read in a very, very long time.

Highly recommended.

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Jesse Scheckner
Author: Jesse Scheckner View all posts by
A freelance writer who regularly produces work for MMA Owl, Tuff Gnarl, Broward Palm Beach New Times, Florida Geek Scene and Miami's Community Newspapers. Moderately relevant. Follow me on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

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