Eliteware is a dystopic science fiction comic book that takes place 600 years in the future published by Wikid Publishing. Centered around the Neva family, we will see the dynamics between these arena fighters and the control the Elite class excerpts on their society. Created and written by Mike DeCosta, with art by Jim Hanna, inking and lettering from Eryn Williams, and colors by Eliana Falcon, Eliteware #1 is set to be a futuristic comic that aims to reflect our reality today.
It’s also important to note that Eliteware #1 is a comic that has dedicated itself to reflecting people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ characters at the center of the narrative, while also having a creative team that reflects that diversity. As the story unfolds, we will see that the Elite control everything and what happens when people push back.
In issue number one, we are introduced to one of our protagonists, Tiya Neva, a trained arena fighter in what is titled “The Campaign,” who just so happens to do the dirty work for the Elite. After a few pages of world-building where see the delights and sins that the Elite partake in and learn about her personal situation as well as the world when she attends the opera and has a long conversation with her father.
Through their conversations, we learn that the family, and seemingly a large portion of the world, are controlled by Ketta Morgan. We also learn that at the center of this web of control lies the Neva family, with Tiya’s brother Diviran in a situation in which he takes lives only to have his in jeopardy. The shadow of Ketta hangs over them and DeCosta does a great job of setting up this big bad. Although the exact things Ketta does or has people do for them is vague, the fear of being heard criticizing them and the extent to which they have control over the Neva family clearly lays out the villainy and sets up the future issues.
Although we don’t too many specifics about the world of Eliteware, we learn enough to see an outline. There are fighters and the Elite who seemingly control them. We also learn that Elite status opens up opportunities while anyone without it is limited in life. However, I wish that the terms like The Campaign, arena fighters, and Elite had been clearly defined to understand the positions each character is existing in.
That being said, the art does a lot of work in presenting the idea of classes with the Elites we meet at the beginning of the issue wearing a hybrid of future fashion and colors reminiscent of 16th-century paintings of Queen Elizabeth I, a combo I greatly appreciated. However, it’s the way the Neva’s are shown inhabiting an obvious higher social sphere through their box at the opera that leaves me with questions for that some more on the nose definitions of the world’s class system would have helped.
With that, the relationship between Tiya and her father Wil is executed extremely well. The two’s dialogue is familial and it helps to understand the family’s identity and place in the world. Tiya herself is beautifully drawn and rather fierce, with one person under her body count already. I can’t wait to see where she goes from here. Since we didn’t get much action, I’m looking forward to seeing her arena fighter action in the coming issues. Although I feel that the world needs more building out the questions I have feel like they will be answered as the series unfolds and leave me ready to pick up issue number two, which the best feeling a comic can leave you with.
I can’t wait to see where she goes from here. Since we didn’t get much action, I’m looking forward to seeing her arena fighter action in the coming issues. Although I feel that the world needs more building out the questions I have feel like they will be answered as the series unfolds and leave me ready to pick up issue number two, which the best feeling a comic can leave you with.
Kate is co-founder, EIC, and CCO of BWT. She’s also a Certified Rotten Tomatoes Critic, host, and creator of our flagship podcast, But Why Tho? and Did You Have To?. She also manages all PR relationships for comics, manga, film, TV, and anime. She has an MA in Cultural Anthropology and Religious Studies focusing on how pop culture impacts society.