Breaking In Mr. Singleton with BROKEN PIECES #3 (Aspen)

[Editor’s Note: Please help us welcome Mr. Singleton to the Gang of Meddling Kids, and stay for the ride as he opines about things comic booky.]

Okay, I must say I was lost at first. Not because I don’t understand a statement about a post Apocalypse America, but because we start in the future which is actually the past. Not “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” kind of past either. I had to re-read the introduction a couple of times before it dawned on me, or it could have been the leftover pizza I had just finished off that wasn’t agreeing with me and was taking over my concentration. But I will save that adventure for another time.

Now that I am on track to where the story is going I can focus on what is going on, but then I got lost again. It is frustrating to start heading down one direction and get pulled or in my case dragged into a completely different direction. This is exactly how I felt about my GPS unit when I didn’t update the software.

So going back and forth like a bad tennis match, I am finally caught up with what exactly where the story is going. Then I realize that there are actually four stories going on here.

While the main story blankets the other three in a Post Apocalypse future, the other  stories involve the romance between the two Dr’s linking them to the Monster that is struggling to find his role in this world, another story is about the survivors trying to stay alive with what freedoms they have left and the final story is about how greed got us to this place we are currently at. It was hard to see this at first, going through the corn maze so to speak.

You’ll be happy to know that even in this apocalyptic future we still have corporate greed, and I’m talking the kind of greed that has found the cure for cancer but no one can afford it. That story in itself would make for a great Action Hero comic, one of those characters that rises to bring the structure down…and that is what we see in the Monster of this series. A phoenix, rising from the same ashes that burned down his every human fiber only to create this being that will be the end of his creators.

Let’s dive into the survivor’s story here for a moment. I would compare this to the street dwellers in Spawn. Todd McFarlane did an excellent job depicting the people living in the streets, the same people that could hide a monster like Spawn. Our monster in Broken Pieces is much like a Spawn, mostly monster but with the memories of a human life (Spoiler alert…the memories are not actually the monster’s).

Don’t shoot me, I can’t write about anything and not put a couple of spoilers in there for you and trust me I won’t do this like a bad Miramax film where the previews are the best part of the movie. So our survivors just want to live, but not under the restrictions of what the corporate world have provided. So I guess you could say there could be an underlying story here, call it class warfare, call it the man keeping you them down, call it what you want, I call it a story line that might give the Monster’s story some strengths and grow his character as the story goes along.

The one thing that tipped me off that this was fiction (besides the fact that I’m reading a comic book and it is all artwork and not documentary footage photos…from the future, let that thought sink in for a moment) was the fact that Homeland Security still exists in the future. HA! How plausible is that one? Well in this story Homeland Security is still around and they are still using the Color Threat Level Grid. Our doctors are married and care deeply about one another, but they make a bad decision…where have I seen this before? Dang it!

I know, Bruce Banner made a couple of bad decisions; sure, he thought at the time that his decisions would lead to better ideals but alas, he was wrong. By the way, these docs aren’t as cool as Banner, just sayin’. So our doctors might have made some bad decisions and decided to hook up with Corporate America in finding a cure for whatever diseases are plaguing our country or so they are told that is what they are doing. See my point?

I see this anti Corporate America story just piling up on me here and I have to say that I just don’t want propaganda stuffed down my throat; if I wanted that I’d watch a Michael Moore movie on my Apple TV, while using my iPad to stream anti government posts on Huffington Post complaining about the establishment all the while ignoring the fact that I have contributed to some of the biggest corporations in the establishment. See the irony in that one folks? Okay, off the soap box. Back to reality or at least the reality that Broken Pieces has to offer.

I will admit it, this series is an easy read (albeit hard at times to follow), which is good because if the writer had spent any time using a thesaurus, I would have gone out of my mind, with all of the back and forth from one future to another, while throwing some big words on me I would have put the book down, gone back to the fridge and continued to kill myself slowly with leftover pizza.

Maybe I’m being too harsh, not everyone can create a masterpiece. At the same time, not every masterpiece stands out. This is my overall thought about Broken Pieces, it has decent graphics, the story line is somewhat plausible for me to believe in and I care about the characters now (but only after the third episode). I am looking forward to the next episode; I want to know what happens to the Monster, did the little girl from the survivor camp make it through the fight, is the Monster just replicating a memory or did a mind-transfer really take place…

I just saw that look in your eye’s, now you want to know too! You can, go read it for yourself. Don’t ever just take my word for it! Who am I anyway, the only being on this planet who should take my word as gospel is my dog and you should see the looks she gives me when I tell her to do a simple command like “Sit” or “Stay” or “no, stop drinking my sweet tea!”.

[Aspen Comics web site]

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