Story: Stephanie Phillips
Art: Evgeniy Bornyakov
Colors: Lauren Affe
Letterer: Troy Peteri
What They Say:
Conspiracy theories, government corruption, and a really good mix of Prince drives David Corey to help solve the mysterious disappearance of a famous politician’s son. When David realizes that the truth is much more dangerous than a kidnapping, he must battle ancient secrets that have endangered the lives of children for centuries. This conspiracy-fueled adventure story looks at the darker side of American history through the eyes of an unlikely team of heroes. If they fail, the American government and its people may not survive.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
I’ll admit, my enjoyment of conspiracy theories have taken a real hit in the past decade as more and more people latch onto them so seriously even when there are such obvious realities about many of them. AfterShock has a couple of books that have delved into conspiracies and launches this new one from writer/creator Stephanie Phillips. There are a few things going on here but it hits its stride pretty early on overall and gets you ready for the ride ahead. With this book she’s working with artist Evgeniy Bornyakov and he’s put together a pretty solid book here with distinctive designs and a sense of the world it all inhabits. I like the character details and the way they move and the designs in general.
The premise here is one that takes us back to Lindbergh a bit with a new little twist. In the here and now, we get Senator Miller preparing for his run for the presidency only to have his two-year-old son kidnapped right from under him and his wife in their house. We see the strange symbol that’s tied to the ransom note and later get the reveal that the Lindbergh baby correspondence contained the same piece. For the Millers, it’s pretty standard fare stuff here as they deal with it politically and go public even though the note says otherwise and the forensic team discovers a larger symbol hidden in the room that raises interest, especially if there’s a mystical level to it that could be neat. It’s a solid setup for the bigger picture, especially as other children of politicos start to disappear.
The catalyst for events to get out there more comes in the form of Davis, a young man who runs roughshod onto Langley in order to hold them accountable for mind control experiments he’s convinced that they’re running. While he gets out of all of this all too easily thanks to his ex-wife lawyer in a way that just drove me bonkers, what we get is someone who uses his vlog in order to expose the conspiracies that exist all around us. A few wrong ones don’t diminish the times that he’s right and we see why he’s convinced he’s right about this. But the reveal of that symbol on TV moves in toward something far more reaching into his bailiwick than the mind control piece because of all the things that go back to Lindbergh. How he’ll connect to it is unclear at the moment but the book sets up plenty of different characters while keeping our mystery interventionists out of sight for now.
Descendent has some interesting angles it can pursue here and my general interest in the of conspiracy theories as an exercise in thought will have me enjoy it. The problematic piece was how quickly Davis ends up out of custody and that really took me out of the way the book was building things. I’m definitely curious as to where it’ll go as we’ve got some good characters to work with right out of the gate. I’m also really keen just from the visual design aspect of the symbol and what the covers are teasing for who we’re dealing with. It’s just the opening salvo so there’s plenty of room to grow here with it with what Phillips and Bornyakov are bringing to the table.
Age Rating: 15+
Released By: AfterShock Comix
Release Date: May 1st, 2019