There’s an agenda within this text, and it has little to do with time traveling or the creation and manipulation of the world. This is a future-forward look at the current Civil Rights movement, but also ties into the fighting for human rights throughout the century. There are a lot of beautiful turns of phrase, as well as loving references to pop culture to further humanize the characters that may pose a challenge to those who don't quite understand the struggle. Though things are laid pretty much out in the open, and the term "anomaly" becomes the obvious replacement of another slur, this is in no way hammer-on-the-head storytelling; the plot is central, and at no point do any of the characters feel as though they're pontificating. Everyone is always trying to push the story forward, which is good storytelling not getting lost in an ideal. The central tenant and the inspiration for the title is reminiscent of the ideas presented at the end of the second Matrix film: Everyone starts even, then divisions inevitably occur and smaller groups are punished in some way until they are eradicated or sublimated into the larger, at which time new divisions are discovered and the cycle begins anew. This is a good, vital, and eminently human story and needs to be very widely read.
The artwork in this book is somewhat at odds with the tone of the story with bright, clean lines and a somewhat cartoony feel. This is especially interesting when things get . . . mature, which somehow made me blush more so than I feel like it would have otherwise. The tone helps to not only lighten and keep the script from bogging down, but Charretier's ability to differentiate the many plot threads winding their way through this surprisingly dense story. The art and script flow in and out of each other seamlessly, each supporting the other when one takes the forefront. It's a great partnership that works really, really well.
This is one of those works that not only serves to highlight an important argument for our time, but also serves to crystallize this moment much like Angels in America did for the mid-to-late '80s in the gay community. This is the pure idea distilled to its core and built lovingly into a compelling story that manages to elevate, excite, and inform all at once.
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