Review - No One's Ros #1 (@thevaultcomics)

"For so long, we failed Earth and we failed ourselves."

Earth is currently on an almost irreversible path towards ruin. In books like No One's Rose #1 from Vault Comics, there's a fiction that could become reality soon enough. The issue is written by Zac Thompson and Emily Horn, illustrated by Alberto Alburquerque, colored by Raúl Angulo and lettered by Otsmane-Elhaou.

Centuries after the fall of the Anthropocene, the last vestiges of human civilization are housed in a massive domed city powered by renewable energy, known as The Green Zone. Inside lives teenager Tenn Gavrilo, a brilliant bio-engineer who could rebuild the planet. But there's one problem: her resentful brother Seren is eager to dismantle the precarious Utopia.

The premise behind No One's Rose #1 isn't necessarily original per se, but Thompson and Horn do a great job of giving the book a sense of uniqueness. Tenn and Seren are siblings who are leading different lives within Utopia and it's their contrast that drives the narrative through the issue. Thompson and Horn give the reader a lot of time which each of their thoughts on a variety of matters and reading as their thoughts slowly diverge from one another as siblings is pretty fascinating. In fact, Thompson and Horn know that their relationship is what's really going to drive the series and are smart to focus so much on them. The issue's pacing is done in a way that offers a steady crescendo to the end of the issue that finds the two main characters in the midst of something both somewhat planned, but also unexpected.

The art style by Alburquerque relies on an approach that blends together an appreciation for nature without a civilization. Each of the characters is drawn with an eye towards the future, in that the costume designs feel sufficiently post-apocalyptic with a more modern look. The linework is relatively scant and Alburquerque allows the characters to bleed past the panel borders into the empty gutters for more effect. There's a good amount of effort put into giving the characters well-defined physiques that Alburquerque relies on to further embellish the atmosphere of the book. Angulo's colors are rich and vibrant, providing a means of grounding the book in a sense of nature.

No One's Rose #1 is very much a commentary on climate change and the delicate balance between humanity and nature. Tenn and Seren are two different points of view when it comes to dealing with the current situation and the fact that their views are somewhat diametrically opposed to one another makes for a fascinating story. The script by Thompson and Horn is buoyed by the strong characters carrying the action throughout the issue. Alburquerque's artwork is a good match for the book's tone as it presents the apocalypse with a more organic approach. No One's Rose #1 is a very strong start to a series that seeks to explore the (at times) parasitic relationship between humanity and nature.

No One's Rose #1 is available March 25.