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The Family Trade #3

by Olivier Roth on December 21, 2017

Written by: Justin Jordan & Nikki Ryan

Art by: Morgan Beem

Letters by: Rachel Deering

Published by: Image


After a pretty explosive final page reveal in the second issue, our heroine Jessa is left in quite the predicament as she is confronted with the man, turned traitor, that has been selling out the Family to Berghardt - and who is currently pointing a pretty gun in her direction.


What saves her when he finally shoots her, is best left for you to read, but it was a pretty fun reveal. What happens after Jessa is shot, that is quite intriguing and does lend itself to a pretty dire predicament for our heroine. I always enjoy a story where the protagonist is not a clueless sap. Jessa is anything but. She knows that the man that shot will immediately go to the Family and finger her as the traitor, diverting all blame from himself. With this knowledge, she knows that she will need to go on the run and that there are only a few options for her to clear her name. Luckily she still has one ally in the form of Ri (a character that has been popping up from issue to issue as a kind of “sage” style character).


While this is happening to Jessa, the one to whom the Family was betrayed, Berghardt, continues his play to take control of the Float from the ruling clans. The analogue between this character and a certain sitting president is not at all veiled, but Jordan and Ryan do a good job of laying out this man’s motivations for wanting to take power: it’s as simple as the fact that the clans have been ruling the Float in their own way for decades, and that Berghardt is using the populace’s distaste for this type of rule to try and take all the power for himself.


The Family Trade at first seemed like it was going to be the simple story of our protagonist Jessa as she tries to navigate her way through this strange world. However, now that three issues have come out, you can start to tell that Jordan and Ryan are trying to craft something much more complex than that. The great thing about this series is the postscript that Jordan writes after issue where he explains some of his story related motivations, and in this issue, he touches upon something that isn’t screaming off the page, but that you could surmise is happening: the system that controls the Float, it isn’t perfect by any means and the fact that the Family fights to keep that system in balance doesn’t necessarily make them the good guys in this situation. This ambiguity is then at the heart of the series as we get to follow Jessa as she tries to navigate through all this craziness.

Our Score:


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