REVIEW: ‘Breaklands Vol 1: The Chase’

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Breaklands Vol 1: The Chase

Breaklands Vol 1: The Chase, written by Justin Jordan, illustrated by Tyasseta,  colored by Sarah Stern, and lettered by Rachel Deering, is an original series published by Comixology. The series takes place 150 years after the vast majority of humanity develops psychic powers.  Kasa Fain is the only person on the planet who doesn’t possess powers and spends her days looking after her younger brother Adam. When Adam is kidnapped by a group of Ramblers, Kasa must unite with several other psychics including the elderly warrior Gargarin, pyrokinetic Toy, and nigh-invulnerable Ruth to save him.

Jordan’s script clearly wears its influences on its sleeve; the world of Breaklands pulls inspiration from Akira, Mad Max, Tank Girl, and even Dragonball Z. Massive vehicles travel the land, much like the War Boys in Mad Max: Fury Road. Toy pilots a massive tank-like machine, much like Tank Girl. And although the post-apocalyptic genre is a well-worn road, Jordan manages to make his setting stand out due to the superpowered elements, similar to how his work on Reaver was a new take on the dark fantasy genre. Jordan’s characters also bounce off of each other well; Gargarin’s age is constantly used as the springboard of several sarcastic remarks by Kasa, Toy has a fairly contentious relationship with Gargarin, and Ruth’s Zen-like patience balances it all out.

Breaklands

Tyasseta’s art gives each Breaklands character a unique look. Kasa has a distinctive scar across the bridge of her nose, long brown hair, and carries a bow and several arrows, giving her the look of a fantasy ranger. In direct contrast, Toy is designed with a post-apocalyptic punk rock look; she sports a bright pink mohawk and a fireball tattoo on her right arm.  Stern’s colors bring vibrancy and life to the setting; a refreshing detour from the usual fire and brimstone settings that these stories usually take place in.

Nearly all of the characters in Breaklands possess some form of power, and Jordan, Tyasseta, and Stern showcase the sheer devastation this power can wreak in several pages. Metal and rock shatter from the telekinetic blows of Atomic Eddie, one of the thieves who has kidnapped Adam. The main antagonist, Shattersword, can form a massive sword out of crystals; she can extend it like a whip and cause massive amounts of carnage. Gargarin, despite his age, can move twice as fast as the normal man and carries a massive broadsword; when he first meets Kasa he nearly takes her head off. These fights that look and feel like they’re ripped from a shonen anime.

If there’s one issue I have with this graphic novel, it’s that we know so little about this world. What caused the rise of psychics? How did the Hundred Year King, the being Shattersword serves, rise to power? These details might be touched upon in future issues, but I felt like the creators were holding back on information that would have helped ease new readers into this world.

Breaklands, Vol 1: The Chase is both a wonderful fusion and subversion of superhuman and post-apocalyptic genre conventions. Fans of anime or young adult novels will definitely want to check it out.

Breaklands, Vol 1: The Chase is available on Comixology.

Breaklands, Vol 1: The Chase
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TL;DR

Breaklands, Vol 1: The Chase is both a wonderful fusion and subversion of superhuman and post-apocalyptic genre conventions. Fans of anime or young adult novels will definitely want to check it out.