20XX #3 Review

by Jay Hill on February 14, 2020

Story, script assists, illustrations, lettering, & design by: Jonathan Luna
Story & script by: Lauren Keely
Published by: Image Comics

Meria Moore is still trying to find her way as a sym. Her new gang is training her to become an asset while her cousin Lucas has gone AWOL. However, she’s met someone new. Soriya may be the anchor Mer needs in this trying time.

Meria continues to be a character that I want to read about. Her reaction to the crazy circumstances she finds herself in makes her likable and relatable. She seems understandably lost and a bit afraid. And, her environment is one completely uncaring to her feelings. That is what makes her relationship with Soriya so interesting. The reader is in on the information that Mer isn’t, and that adds suspense of the cat eventually coming out of the bag. But they also have such a real reason for being together. What we’re shown of both of them makes it understandable why they need each other; Soriya is just as lost as Mer. Whatever goes down between the two will undoubtedly be emotional, especially with how well the story has made me care about them. Meria’s standing with the West Side gang is another situation that’s rigged to blow. All seems well now with them teaching her how to control her STS, but the secret she’s hiding from them is bound to catch up with her. Which brings us to Lucas and the continued digging of his own grave. The scene with him had some great action, but also suspense since he’s not only playing with his life but Mer’s also. And him dealing with Andres and the East Side wraps Soriya’s interest in it too. So, that scene has effects that affect every character in the story.

This series is moving at a good pace. Although, I felt these last 2 issues have been heavy on dialogue. The world is incredibly interesting. This issue we got to learn about and see plenty of STS. Mer and Soriya’s relationship is officially the heart of this comic. It’s very Romeo and Juliet with them being caught between two kingdoms. Soriya is enigmatic and hard to figure. Even with her playing for the enemy, she’s just as lost and trapped as Meria. Soriya’s actions at the end and Lucas’ situation seems to signify that everything is getting closer to a collision. Hopefully, the casualties are kept to a minimum.

On closer look, I think the art may be a bigger part of my engagement than I realized. I think it has to do with the faces. Specifically, Meria and Soriya’s. Mer is illustrated with expressions that give a clear glimpse into her thoughts. That helps with sympathizing with her in moments. Soriya often has an aloof expression bordering on numb. She looks like she’s been through a lot and is exhausted with life. But, in scenes with Mer, she seems to light up more. This makes it seems like one of two things is happening, either she actually enjoys being with Meria, or she is putting on a show to further ensnare her. Either way, it draws my engagement. The action scene was executed very well, especially the end shot. An issue I've noticed is that the surplus of dialogue bubbles can sometimes cloud a panel and leave little room for the art to speak. That being said, there were still plenty of scenes of visual storytelling. I particularly liked Tendai moving Diego’s sleeve up. That shot also featured a SFX cue, which is a detail used in the #1 that I liked. If the balance could be found between the writing and the dialogue like in the debut issue, this comic would be operating at full power.

20XX #3 is another great chapter that shows more of the interesting world and the appealing characters. Meria and Soriya’s complex relationship is growing to be the best part of the narrative. But, the events of the world are pushing closer towards them and likely will not go away silently.

Our Score:


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