REVIEW: ‘Speed Republic,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Speed Republic #1

The new series Speed Republic from Mad Cave Studios features Ryan K. Lindsay penning the story and Emanuele Parascandolo providing the art. In addition, Michele Monte is credited as the colorist, and Joamette Gil is credited as the letterer. Speed Republic #1 introduces a world where citizens compete for their lives by participating in a deadly race across Europe.

In the future, Europe has united under one man, The Autocrat. The world seems familiar to ours in the way that clean drinking water is a luxury, a corporate monopoly rules over much, and there doesn’t seem to be many ways to make an honest living that takes care of your own. The narration by Sebastian Valencia, our hero and protagonist, reveals he left home but returned when he couldn’t make ends meet to take care of family and home hopefully. A way to take care of your ailing family, and a way out, is through the Grand Race. It is touted as a marathon street race through Europe where only one driver can make it to the end and win a life of luxury. Yet, the dangers aren’t without mentioning, nor are they advertised, and this race takes many a life.

It is easy to get hyped when reading through Speed Republic #1. I nearly felt adrenaline running through my vines just looking at the artwork by Parascandolo of cars speeding along and avoiding projectiles on the road. It was fascinating to see some of the world-building put together by the creative team—small scenes at places at safe zones like the Amnesty gas station reveal characters who have their thoughts about the Grand Race and all the cogs in the system. Street vendors who hint at secret locations where helpful items can be found provide scenes that play up Monte’s coloring, making for intense panels and just really fun-looking eye candy to drink in visually. I especially love how Gil’s lettering adds plenty of emphasis to pages through the issue but especially in the last pages that introduce a sight to behold and a character who hits home for the main character, Sebastian.

The story revolves around a person who could be defined as an underdog fighting against a big bad in a big race; sure, it has been done before. But writer Lindsay and the rest of his creative team make this take not only engaging but provides enough meat to get me invested and ready for the next issue. More and more of the media that we consume is reflecting and adding commentary on the world we live in; comics have never been excluded from that. So while it may not be a hit for everyone,  I’m curious to read more about the universe created in Speed Republic and how one can distinguish themselves from making a difference and not just being swept away by hopes of a future that may not be worth buying in for.

Speed Republic #1 introduces a young man with a wasted past who is putting it all on the line for a chance to make it better in a street race where not everyone survives. Full of action, cool artwork, and thoughtful musings on a world that is already in dystopian decline, it should prove to be a surprise hit for your pull list, especially for fans of Cannonball Run and Mad Max. It ends on a shocking cliffhanger that leaves me wanting more to see who makes it to the finish line.

Speed Republic #1 hits comic shops in February 2022.


Speed Republic #1
4.5

TL;DR

Speed Republic #1 introduces a young man with a wasted past who is putting it all on the line for a chance to make it better in a street race where not everyone survives. Full of action, cool artwork, and thoughtful musings on a world that is already in dystopian decline, it should prove to be a surprise hit for your pull list, especially for fans of Cannonball Run and Mad Max. It ends on a shocking cliffhanger that leaves me wanting more to see who makes it to the finish line.