REVIEW: ‘20XX,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

20XX #4

20XX #4 is published by Image Comics, written by Lauren Keely and Johnathan Luna, with art and letters by Johnathan Luna. As Mera awakens from her dream night out with Nuon, she receives a startling message: Lucas is in trouble. And what’s worse, the message is 12 hours old. With the clock ticking she must get her fellow West Siders together if they are to find Lucas in time. And even if they can find Lucas, can they convince Andres to let him live?

Most stories have a tipping point. The deep breath before the plunge when things haven’t completely fallen apart but you know it’s only a matter of time now. 20XX #4 feels like this story’s tipping point. With all the pieces moving, and the sense of tension rising, all it’s going take is a spark to blow up what accounts for peace between the East and West Siders.

Keely and Luna Deliver this story well. Their dialogue feels real, and the situation evolves in a way that feels believable, if somewhat predictable. The one stand out aspect of the story though is the way it presents those who nominally wield power within the rival gangs.

As the two sides try to hammer out an arrangement that will satisfy both sides, its clear neither one wants this situation to escalate. And yet, they seem far less capable of preventing it than you would think. This nervousness of course derives from the knowledge that their actions must please those they lead, or their power will become forfeit. This presentation of those who seem to wield power being wielded by those who supposedly have none is always an enjoyable reminder to me about the nature of power, and from whence all power is derived from.

20XX #4 

While the greater story’s tension is rising, the threat of a showdown between East and West threatens to end Mera and Nuon’s new relationship before it has a real chance. While the overall story has been moving in a fairly predictable way, I’m still hopeful that this subplot might take a few more risks with its narrative.

Even though the plot of 20XX #4 does all it can to put a sense of urgency into the book, the art does little to support it. While a technically solid presentation, the POVs utilized continue to be too standoffish to really capture the tension that the script is trying to convey. The characters often come off as a bit wooden as well. Though there are a few panels where the emotion of the moment is allowed to come through, they are too few and far between to really compliment the work the story is putting forth.

All in all, 20XX #4 continues to tell a solid narrative. While this issue doesn’t break any new ground, it doesn’t break anything it already had going for it either. If you have been enjoying the ride so far I expect this issue will be as satisfying for you as the previous ones have been.

20XX #4 is available now, whenever comics are sold.

20XX #4
3.5

TL;DR

All in all, 20XX #4 continues to tell a solid narrative. While this issue doesn’t break any new ground, it doesn’t break anything it already had going for it either.